THE May Destroy You – Trauma and rebirthone of the series most popular of 2020, conceived, written, co-directed and interpreted by one person, Michaela Coela young Briton among the 100 most influential people in the world according to Times awarded an Emmy, arrives tonight on Sky (at 21.25 the first episodes – streaming on NOW). “Appreciated”, however, does not do justice to the product, since IMDY has been defined an unreserved masterpiece, advertised on Instagram by several stars (including Lena Dunham, that of Girls) and ended up on the list of must-see series.
Because at the center of the episodes is the the generation of thirty-year-olds today, described without doing good between violence, love and friendship. There is above all Arabella (Coel), and his bumpy path in the management of work and social life, to which it grants too many spaces and margins of danger. Which alas occur. Pushing her to a mnemonic dig at the source of nightmare memories and impressions. The destruction (destroy) of the title, aimed at that you who immediately makes you think of the torturer, however, has a double meaning: yes, destruction of those who caused the violence but also personal self-destruction. A possibility that for the heroine – charged with trauma – has at a certain point the positive form of activism, but that possessed, to distance friends.
We talk about “sexual consent”, not “sexual violence”
Co-produced by BBC And HBOreleased two years ago in the US and UK, I May Destroy You – Trauma and rebirth is consisting of 12 episodes each lasting about thirty minutes. The first six are on the air tonight. The other six will be broadcast the following week, Tuesday 27 September.
The theme is one of the thorniest and most delicate: sexual violence. But dealt with in a way masterful and in some ways innovative: without judgments or dramas, it simply tells it in its merciless rawness, developing in a linear way the path of awareness and atrocious difficulty that leads to rebelling against abuse.
The novelty is that in the series there is almost never an explicit mention of violence or rape, rather it deals with the concept of “Sexual consent”. What is missing in violence. As if to underline the overbearing desire not to lock oneself in the role of preybut of wanting to remain “only” one victim who fights and reacts against a ferocious injustice.
I May Destroy You: the plot
We are a Londonin a working class area. Arabella (Michaela Coel), is a thirty year old of today, of Afro-English origin, pink hair, confident, carefree, free in her “improvised” life. She is a Twitter star, who became a writer thanks to an autobiographical memoir (a collection of her tweets), struggling with the second book. For many she is an idol, people who meet her on the street ask her to take selfies together.
She has to deliver her second book, like this the night before, to release the stress, he indulges in an evening of revelry with friends (or those he believes to be friends). The next morning, however, he remembers nothing of what happened the night before. She feels dizzy, too “Hallucinated”. At the appointment with the publisher he is unable to speak. She comes home and decides to get it all off with a sleep. But over time he discovers he has a wound in the forehead and a broken cell phone: understands that that night she was drugged and because of this it has a memory blackout.
With the help of trusted friends Terry (Weruche Opia), aspiring rambling actress, e Kwame (Paapa Essiedu), fitness instructor, begins a path to reconstruct what happened. Someone images of violence begin to surface in the mind. She is perplexed, she cannot believe she has been “betrayed” by the friends she spent that evening with. Nevertheless report the incident to the police, makes checks and discovers the evident signs of the violence suffered on the body. Thus she begins a journey that leads her to discover realities and dynamics that she did not see before.
An anti-Sex and the City with complex themes
The hunt for the culprit of rape, or rather, the hunt for whom took advantage of the lack of “sexual consent”, it becomes almost just the pretext that holds everything together, but the story is much more complex. We talk about racial discrimination, from marginalizationfrom addiction to social mediafrom friendship and of love. All this, however, with incredible lightness. Mixed in depth. Just like in Girls. The suspense due to the narrative that develops like a yellow becomes marginal. That is, watching the episodes, expects, not so much to discover “the culprit”as much as to find out how relationships turn out.
Michaela Coel: a marvel
Indisputable strength of IMDY is Michaela Coel, a true force of nature. Thirty-five years old, Londoner with Ghanaian parents, she is known for being the star of Chewing gum (available on Netflix). Series for which you won the 2016 British Academy Television Award for Best Actress-Talented Breakthrough. Instead For I May Destroy You won in 2020 a Emmy for Best Screenplay, 4 Bafta and 2 Independent Spirit Award.
Strong, gritty, she is considered the “Voice” of his generation. He explained that I may destroy you it arises precisely from the desire to tell about a rape that she has really suffered in life. Or better: from the desire to tell the experience of lack of “sexual consent”.
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