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Is Women at War on Netflix based on a true story? We discuss series accuracy and whether the characters are real or fictional.
women at war is an emotional French series about Netflix which follows four women in 1914 France, during the early days of World War I. Directed by alexander laurentthe eight-episode series stars audrey fleurot like Marguerite de Lancastel, julia de bona as Mère Supérieure Agnès, Camila Lou like Suzanne Faure, and Sofia Essaidi as Caroline Dewitt.
The series, originally titled the fighters, arrived on Netflix in France last September and is now rolling out to other territories, including the US. If you’ve seen it, you may now be wondering whether or not it’s based on a true story. If so, you are in the right place!
What is Women at War on Netflix about?
Four women from very different origins find themselves in France in 1914 as World War II is about to break out. They are Marguerite, a Parisian prostitute; Suzanne, feminist nurse; Agnes, the Mother Superior of a requisitioned convent; and Caroline, who has just been promoted to the position of manager at her family’s factory. The series is a harsh critique of armed conflict, depicting its horrors through the eyes of four people who saw their lives turned upside down by a fight they didn’t choose to get into and can’t even participate in.
It also takes a close look at the role women played in early 20th century France and asks viewers to reflect on how little progress we have made in some respects, hinting at the long road ahead of us as a society.
Is Women at War on Netflix based on a true story?
The four women who headline the series are entirely fictional characters, but World War I was one of the most devastating human conflicts of the entire 20th century. Known at the time as the Great War, it divided the European continent in two and the differences between the two sides lasted for decades and ended up causing the rise of fascism and the start of World War II. Nine million people died fighting, with 26 million wounded and millions of civilians with their lives completely turned upside down for a cause no one could really understand.
The conflict began after decades of petty political disagreements between two sides that built up; the heat turned on in the first six months of 1914, until finally, on June 28, the Austro-Hungarian heir was assassinated, and the Empire blamed Serbia and declared war on them a month later. Alliances were quickly formed and four long years of conflict began.
women at war it begins a couple of months later, in September 1914. At that time, Germany was already deep in its occupation of France, as shown in the series.
Are the characters in Women at War real or fictional?
The main characters are completely fictional, but as always, there is a large fund of documentation behind them. Creator Célele Lorne said that she came up with the idea after watching a documentary about women during World War I and she decided to explore the concept a bit more. The basic plot of the series was then to write a story about war from the perspective of women: what happens to people who stay at home when men go to fight someone else’s wars? For that, she created four very different perspectives that would allow her to approach the answer to the question from all kinds of different angles. After all, the perspective of a prostitute is very different from that of a nurse.
So no, there weren’t four women named Marguerite, Agnès, Suzanne, and Caroline who met and crossed paths during World War I, but the truth is, there were probably millions of other women who had similar issues, and we’re just hearing their voices now through through these four.
Have you seen Women at War? What did you think of the French Netflix series? Tell us in the comments!