On November 13th 2015, ISIL orchestrated a multi-cell attack using a variety of methods that ended the lives of 130 people in the space of a few hours. With support from the French government, mobile phone footage from witnesses and interviews with survivors and first responders, this three-part Netflix documentary (in French with English subtitles) tells of how the events unfolded that fateful night.
From the foiled attempts to enter the Stade de France during the France v Germany friendly through to the French police assault on the Bataclan theatre in the early hours of November 14th, we are presented with a concise timeline of all eight events, supported by the experiences of those that were there. The disbelief, exasperation and grief radiate from the real-life participants on screen and the scars – both mental and physical are still very much at the surface.
With the first episode dealing with the Stade de France along with the restaurant and bar attacks, it is the last two that focus primarily on the Eagles of Death Metal concert that was abruptly interrupted by gunfire and the massacre that unfolded. For such a sensitive and upsetting subject the filmmakers never stray into exploitative territory or fall into the trap that media outlets have previously in interviewing the rock group, who were long gone and have subsequently made some baseless and controversial comments about the venue’s security being complicit.
Overall you are presented with a professional, well-handled documentary that provides a complete picture from multiple perspectives that shed light on what must have been an incredibly harrowing time.
Watch this if you liked: “The Looming Tower”