‘The Sambre Case’, the series based on the true story of one of the worst sexual predators in France

The director of this series is Jean-Xavier de Lestrade who already surprised us all in 2004 with ‘The Staircase’

  • Carmen Fernandez Etreros
  • Carmen Fernández Etreros has a degree in Journalism from the Complutense University of Madrid and is currently editor of the Series section in Okdiario. As a journalist she has collaborated with numerous media outlets such as the newspaper ABC, Informativos Telecinco or Gaceta Complutense. She has also worked in the publishing sector as a writer, proofreader and editor. She is the author of the graphic novels from the Oberon publishing house ‘Galdós, a writer in Madrid’ and ‘Emilia, from darkness to light’.

One of the most anticipated series this week is The case of Sambre which has just been released on the Movistar Plus+ streaming platform. A risky fiction that tells the true story of a serial rapist who attacked numerous women over 30 years in northern France. A case that shocked French society, which saw in despair how this criminal could not be caught and the violations continued to increase.

The director of this series is Jean-Xavier de Lestrade which already surprised us all in 2004 with The Staircase. This documentary series starring actors Colin Firth and Tony Colette focused on the trial of novelist Michael Peterson who was the main suspect in the murder of his wife after she fell down the stairs of her house.

In 2001 this filmmaker won an Oscar for the documentary An ideal culprit in which it focused on the story of a 15-year-old black teenager who in May 2000 is arrested and accused of the death of a white tourist in Jacksonville, Florida. The documentary shows how his lawyer confronts the questionable methods of the local police.

Series and documentaries that reconstruct real crimes have become a trend that is triumphing on streaming platforms. some like The Asunta case, The Staircase either The crime of the urban guard They have been successful in terms of audience and critics. The case of Sambre has passed all audience records in France with an average of four million viewers per episode.

Sambre case
Movistar Plus+ premieres the series ‘The Case of Sambre’.

A series based on a real case

The Serie The case of Sambre begins in 1988 when, in the north of France, Christine Labot, a young hairdresser and mother, wakes up disoriented on the banks of the Sambre River with Obvious signs of having been sexually assaulted. What happened to Christine? Why is she in that place?

Dino Scala, a resident of the town of Pont sur Sambre in northern France that only had 2,400 inhabitants He was arrested in early March 2018 for an attack in Belgium and ended up confessing that he was the author of forty rapes and sexual assaults in France and Belgium countries over the last 30 years. This sexual predator lived a completely normal life in the town without anyone suspecting him.

At that time, the Valenciennes prosecutor, Jean-Philippe Vicentini, explained in a press conference that Dino Scala recognized the facts of which he was accused and had explained that He acted on impulses that he did not control. The inhabitants of this small town couldn’t believe it. Dino Scala had three children and was well known in this town for having been a player, coach and president of the soccer team.

Dino Scale He was sentenced to twenty years in prison and this series attempts to explain how this man was able to act without attracting attention for thirty years, one of the worst sexual predators in the history of France. He also wonders how society could allow this to happen and how the investigation could fail in this way, leaving this man to commit so many sexual assaults and rapes for 30 years.

It must be taken into account that from 1988 to 2018, Dino Scala raped and assaulted dozens of women over 30 years with impunity and, furthermore, this case that never reached the media. Nobody wanted to see what was happening and this information never reached the media or they silenced it. The series also reflects on how society has changed in terms of the media treatment of these attacks and the consequences they have for many women.

The distribution of The Sambre case

This series is a creation of Alice Géraud and Marc Herpoux made by Jean-Xavier de Lestrade. This filmmaker was freely inspired by Alice Géraud’s book, although Jean-Xavier de Lestrade has tried to be more faithful to real events. An ambitious production by Federation Entertainment, France TV, VS Productions and What’s up Films.

The series stars French actress Alix Poissonwhich paints a terrible first-person portrait of a woman who has suffered sexual assault and the consequences that this event has for her entire life.
Also in the distribution of The case of Sambre There are actors Jonathan Turnbull, Julien Frison, Louise Orry-Diquéro, Pasquale D’Inca and Mara Taquin, among others.

The case of Sambre is an interesting series based on a real case that has had a great impact in France and it has turned out to be a huge success with audiences in the neighboring country whose inhabitants still have not forgotten what happened. Once again, a fiction, whether a film, a series or a documentary, manages to bring to light a case that should never have been silenced by society.

Samber / Sambre (2023) - Trailer (English subs)

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