Anthracite: Is Levionna a Real Village in France?

Image Credit: Christine Tamalet/Netflix

In Netflix’s ‘Anthracite,’ a girl’s quest to find her father leads her to a shocking discovery in a small French town when she stumbles upon something that has much greater consequences for her than she imagined. It turns out that to figure out the current mystery; she will have to dive deep into a decades-old unsolved crime that haunts the town even now and will have a significant impact on how things turn out for it in the future.

The protagonist, in her journey, not only needs to come to terms with the town’s history but must also accept her own connection with it, something that had been hidden from her all this while. With all the twists and turns and incredibly shocking things that happen in the town, the audience is bound to wonder if the setting of the story is based on a real town with an equally real and fraught history. SPOILERS AHEAD

Lévionna is Fictional But Structured on a Real Town

‘Anthracite’ is a completely fictional show created by Fanny Robert and Maxime Berthemy, who were inspired by the real-life story of the cult known as The Order of the Solar Temple. While they used the real story to get pointers for their fictional tale, they decided to take a step further and create an entirely fictional town as the setting for their story.

Due to the highly fictional nature of the story, the show’s creators didn’t want to set it in a real place and draw attention away from its plot for the audience, so they decided upon Lévionna, but when it came to filming for the series and bringing Lévionna to life for the viewers, they turned towards Grenoble, among other places. The Netflix series has been filmed in and around the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region in southeastern France, with most of the scenes, even when they are in snow-covered mountains, having been shot on location. This gives a greater touch of realism to the story, making Lévionna and the story of its residents feel much closer to reality.

In the show, Lévionna is situated in the Alps and has a troubled history owing to the cult and the defunct mines while also enjoying nature’s bounty that turns it into a tourist spot, especially for skiers. The show’s co-creator and writer, Fanny Robert, was inspired by the place she grew up in to concoct the town of Lévionna and the story of its residents. She grew up in and around Grenoble, where the story of the Order of the Solar Temple and the mass suicide of its followers was quite well known. Their bodies were found in the forests of the Vercors, which is quite close to Grenoble, almost in the immediate vicinity of the now-infamous place.

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