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The Murder at World’s End series delves into female technology, on Disney+

Four years after the cancellation of the brilliant The OA, the duo Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij are revolutionizing Agatha Christie’s popular thriller genre with the miniseries Murder at the End of the World on Disney+. This sublime “mystery” in the world of technology is brought forward by Emma Corrin as Gen Z’s Sherlock Holmes.

A young woman walks down the street, wearing a red hoodie and headphones on her ears. She goes to a bookstore, where an older writer is finishing a public reading, to applause. It’s her turn to take the stage. Short wet pink hair, fragile and punk look, Darby Hart presents her journey while people begin to get up from their chairs, visibly disinterested. She doesn’t have the usual profile of who we listen to.

Darby says she grew up with a father who was a forensic scientist and who hacked into a U.S. federal database at age 15. She became passionate about unidentified deaths, especially women, and she joined an online forum for amateur sleuths. She embarked with one of them, Bill Farrah, on the hunt for a serial killer. This is the subject of her book, “The Silver Unknown,” which she came to champion. A few minutes passed and the audience sat down, fascinated by her story. We too. Little Red Riding Hood decided to stop the wolf herself.

Reversing the genre cliché of the brilliant detective

Consisting of seven episodes, A murder at the end of the world a double temporality follows: the hunt for the serial killer and the love story between Darby and Bill a few years earlier; and, in the present, a seminar organized by billionaire Andy Ronson (a fake Elon Musk, played by Clive Owen) in Iceland to which the detective has been invited. He brings together great minds around the topic of technologies as a survival tool for humanity. A first murder forces Darby to use her talents as a hacker and investigator.

There’s something really thrilling about being at the scene of a crime and seeing someone the same age and gender as the victim – a naked, mutilated, dead young woman, covered in blood on the ground, usually eroticized in one way or another. other – is now the protagonist. living, breathing person at the crime scene who will solve the problem with real authority.” explains Brit Marling.

With her creative half, Zal Batmanglij, the writer, director and actress wanted to invert the gender archetype present in most films. yellow (to be translated as “What did he do?”, this term refers to thrillers that rely on revealing the identity of the culprit). From Sherlock Holmes to Daniel Craig Knives Out and its sequel, the police figures who have marked the history of pop culture are male characters of a certain age. As if only they could inspire confidence and possess the required skills.

Source: © FX on Hulu / Disney+
Source: © FX on Hulu / Disney+

Played with intelligence and vulnerability by non-binary performer Emma Corrin (revealed by The crown), the character of Darby Hart puts sexist clichés aside and also plays with the figure of the hacker. This environment is also full of male heroes (Elliot in Mr. RobotMorpheus inside Matrix, Spindle…). Darby, however, is part of the continuity of some rare female counterexamples, such as the iconic Abigail Sciuto in NCIS. His gothic appearance and big heart brought a touch of madness to this format detective series. There was also Lisbeth Salander, the young introverted and gothic hacker of the saga Millennium. Darby Hart is Lisbeth and Abigail’s feminist and Gen Z little sister.

Cyber ​​harassment and femicides

Proposing a central female character changes the situation. The series focuses on technological topics from a female point of view, which are usually overlooked. The concept of sisterhood and female mentorship permeates the show. In Iceland, Darby meets Lee Andersen (Brit Marling), Andy Ronson’s wife. This hacking pioneer, whom she greatly admires, disappeared from the radar after suffering one of the first massive waves of cyber harassment. Her legacy, like that of real-life technology pioneers, has been rendered invisible.


The two women build a relationship based on respect and mutual assistance. Lee thought she would find a protector for her after the trauma of her cyberharassment in Andy Ronson, her husband. But she found herself trapped with her son in a controlling relationship, in which she no longer had any autonomy. You can be a very intelligent woman, enter a high social class and still be dominated by a violent man.

Source: © FX on Hulu / Disney+
Source: © FX on Hulu / Disney+

Feminist series, A murder at the end of the world it is also anti-capitalist. On the one hand, the flashbacks tell us how two penniless but determined kids manage to solve a case of serial femicide more than twenty years old, with the help of their online forum collective. On the other, a control-freak billionaire calls an elite assembly to decide the future of the world, and it’s a fiasco.

The excesses of artificial intelligence

The series addresses the very current topic of artificial intelligence, both from an artistic point of view (a filmmaker asks Andy’s artificial intelligence to write “a chapter of Harry Potter in the style of Ernest Hemingway”) and, more generally, raises the question of safeguards in its intelligent ending.

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Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij match substance and form, with superb chiaroscuro cinematography in the high-tech bunker in which the protagonists are trapped, and an equally inspired use of sumptuous exterior settings. Snow and thriller go well together. We also come to admire the duo’s aesthetic, perfected since their first film, The sound of my voice (2009) and which seduced us too The OA.

Self A murder at the end of the world suffers from some predictable twists, the series stands out for its timely topic. She deftly dusts off the genre yellow. The character of Darby Hart, the heart of the series, is a success. We want to see her again in new adventures.


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Source: Madmoizelle

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