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Grond is undoubtedly one of the best series released this year on Netflix able to make us laugh out loud and reflect on truly important and central issues in the life of every human being
To restart the family business, a young entrepreneur devises a bold but risky plan and imports land from Morocco to bury the deceased fellow citizens.
A brilliant idea
The series takes place in Brussels and features the Boulasmoune family, of Moroccan origin, whose company has for years been involved in repatriating the bodies of Moroccans who died in Belgium but who wish to be buried in their native land. When Omar, the head of the family decides to retire from the business, Ismael comes up with a brilliant idea: instead of repatriating the bodies, he sends authentic Moroccan land to Brussels, so that the dead can be buried in Belgium but under Moroccan soil. The idea will prove to be brilliant right from the start, but at the same time it will bring many problems both in the family itself and in the community in general; however, he will be able to count on the support of JB, his best and crazy friend, his sister Nadia and many other wonderful characters who will color this beautiful story.
With so much effort and sacrifice, the young Ismael will be able to revive the family business, even if this will lead him to: blackmail, family dramas, over the top situations and (fortunately for the company) many deaths, which will only make the situation the funniest and most compelling for us viewers.
Maghrebi black humor
Beyond the topics covered, which we will return to shortly, the series is a continuous and constant storm of unexpected events, humor and a desire for revenge, with a background that, despite being mostly Belgian, has all the flavor of the most authentic Morocco. The story and the characters are written in a truly fantastic way, making this Belgian series a small Netflix masterpiece, so much so that in 2022 it took home 3 Ensor awards (the Belgian equivalent of the Oscars and Emmy Awards) such as: best series, Best Screenplay and Best Lead Actor in a TV Series.
In fact, this little gem has the extraordinary ability to carry extremely difficult and heavy situations without however renouncing happiness and a humor which, although often and willingly very black, does not impose forced laughter but genuine and relaxed. The second Moroccan generations are then shown perfectly in their complexity, recalling in detail and honesty the Egyptian ones seen in Ramy. But be careful: just as there are profound differences between the two communities, so Grond should absolutely not be seen as a “Moroccan Ramy”, but as a truly unique product in its own right and which focuses more on history than “Islam” of the vicissitudes affecting Moroccan communities for better or for worse.
So many beautiful themes little told elsewhere
For my story I don’t give votes, but this series absolutely deserves a 10 also because of the choice of themes, incredibly spot on and extraordinarily interesting. In fact, the basic idea stems from a real problem that is particularly felt by migrant communities around the world: the desire of the first generations to be buried in their native land and the drama of their children or grandchildren of being so far away from their loved ones. The solution, however ramshackle and over the top, is spot on and incredibly poetic. The earth that moves is in fact a perfect metaphor for the history of migration and the surrounding motivations brought by Ismael (who experiences firsthand the distance from the maternal tomb) transform everything into something powerful and able to involve not only the Moroccan community (although her in particular), but any kind of “second generation”.
Another fascinating theme is the randomness of death and fate, themes that we always try to ignore but which, especially for those involved in funerals, are literally the daily bread.
In my opinion, it’s the best European series I’ve seen this year, a jewel that is apparently aimed at a second-generation audience but that can really be enjoyed by everyone. You can find it on Netflix, Grond, at the moment, consists of 1 season of 8 episodes, each lasting about 40/50 minutes.
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