What is Transatlantic about? The Netflix series explained

Posted: 2023-04-07T07:00:00

Update: 2023-04-06T13:29:47

Transatlantic, a new WWII drama series based on an inspiring true story, has just dropped on Netflix – here’s what it’s about, who’s in the cast and if it’s worth watching.

Netflix has proven to be a leading figure in the war genre, having introduced a whole host of TV series and movies including but not limited to War Sailor, Da 5 Bloods, Outlaw King, War Machine , Narvik, Beasts of No Nation, The Siege of Jadotville, Sandcastle and Mosul.

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Transatlantic has just joined the ranks as the latest property in the category, offering a compelling true story and a strong cast and crew to boot.

Set from 1940 to 1941 and filmed entirely in Marseille, France, the seven-episode limited series is based on the novel The Flight Portfolio by Julie Orringer. With all the episodes now available to stream, here’s everything you need to know about Transatlantic and whether it’s worth watching.

What is Transatlantic about?

Transatlantique and the book on which it is based center on the real-life case of a heroic rescue team that helped thousands of refugees flee Nazi-occupied France.

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You can watch the trailer below:

The official synopsis reads: “Marseilles 1940-1941. Transatlantic is inspired by the true stories of Varian Fry, Mary Jayne Gold and the Emergency Rescue Committee (ERC).

“Risking their lives to help more than 2,000 refugees flee occupied France, including many artists on the Nazi’s most wanted list, an international gang of young superheroes and their famous proteges occupy a villa in the outskirts of the city, where the threat of mortal danger gives way to unexpected collaborations and intense love affairs.

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Among those rescued by the ERC were some of Europe’s finest artists and intellectuals, including André Breton, Hannah Arendt, Marcel Duchamp, Max Ernst and Marc Chagall, a group that helped “transform the United States into the cultural capital of the world”. after the war. .

For series co-creator Anna Winger, this story is particularly close to her heart. “When I was growing up in the United States, my parents were teachers,” she explained. “Many of their colleagues and friends had come as refugees during the Second World War.

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“Their deeply touching stories of getting out of Europe were local legend – some with the Kindertransport, some via Shanghai, some via Japan – and some were helped by Varian Fry. Two had even worked with him in Marseille.

Recent world events such as the influx of refugees from Syria and Afghanistan to Germany in 2015 touched the Berlin resident and inspired her to tell the story with a new perspective.

“Then the war started in Ukraine during our second week of production,” she continued. “Unfortunately and unexpectedly, we ended up doing Transatlantic as a new European war – and a new refugee crisis – unfolded in real time. It gave a new urgency to the project and a strong sense of purpose to us. all involved.

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Transatlantic casting: who’s in it?

Netflix’s transatlantic cast includes:

  • Gillian Jacobs as Mary Jayne Gold
  • Cory Michael Smith as Varian Fry
  • Lucas Englander as Albert Hirschman
  • Ralph Amoussou as Paul Kandjo
  • Gregory Montel as Philippe Frot
  • Deleila Piasko as Lisa Fittko
  • Amit Rahav as Thomas Lovegrove
  • Corey Stoll as Graham Patterson

Mary Jayne Gold was a Chicago heiress who used her trust fund for good – funding the ERC. It was something Jacobs wanted to convey when portraying the historical figure, telling The Steve Varley Show that the trait she most hoped to convey was “her desire to help.”

The Love star added: “I think it’s both true to the real woman and the version of her that exists on the show. Our two characters [Mary Jayne Gold and Varian Fry] like the Americans in 1940, before the United States entered the war, had the ability to leave at any time… And she chose to stay as long as she could and help, and I think that’s is a remarkable thing.

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Is Transatlantic Worth Watching?

Although there was no Rotten Tomatoes score for Transatlantic, it received several positive reviews.

The New York Times wrote, “The show not only captures the life-or-death seriousness of Fry’s mission to save refugees from another war, but also something of the sleazy drama, living on the edge. of a city that has always been a crossroads.

Elsewhere, The Spool described the Netflix show as “an enthralling and bittersweet tale of love and war”, while The Guardian added the “intriguing new drama” to its list of the “seven best shows to stream this week”.

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However, not all reviews are positive, with The Hollywood Reporter claiming that Transatlantic is a “brilliant but superficial” portrayal of ERC history.

If you want to make up your own mind, Transatlantic is available to stream on Netflix now. You can check out our other TV hubs below:

Invincible Season 2 | The Last of Us Season 2 | The boys season 4 | Stranger Things Season 5 | Succession Season 4 | Ted Lasso Season 3 | The Witcher Season 3 | Season 2 | Black mirror season 6 | Barry Season 4

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