Two Portuguese series on Netflix create exposure for Portuguese fiction, help showcase the country’s history, culture and landscape

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Netflix releases the Portuguese series “Until Life Do Us Part” this Thursday, while its first-ever Portuguese original series “Gloria” is still attracting new viewers and rave reviews around the world.

For many Portuguese-Americans, these series are not only a great opportunity to bring more visibility to the talents of Portugal in the cinema, but also a great way to showcase its people, its landscape, its history, its culture. and his language.

“It will not only be an opportunity to show the incredible work of the Portuguese actors and technical teams, but it will also help to promote Portugal, which is a country that some have heard of but have no idea what It looks like. Like. These series will also help promote and showcase the landscape of Portugal and its beauty,” said Ana Miranda, founder of the Art Institute, an independent, nonprofit institute based in New York City, which aims to promote the internationalization of Portuguese contemporary art and has brought several musical events and film exhibitions to the south coast.

Ana Miranda, director of the Arte Institute.

Directed by Manuel Pureza, ‘Until Life Do Us Part’ is an eight episode feel-good series that revolves around three generations of the Paixão family living under the same roof and having to juggle personal crises, the generation gap, the clashing ideologies and the challenges of running a family business. It stars well-known Portuguese actors like Rita Loureiro, Dinarte Branco, Madalena Almeida, Diogo Martins, Henrique Maia, José Mata, Albano Jerónimo, Lourenço Ortigão, among others.

“The new series is a good indicator that audiences enjoyed and were touched by the current series,” Miranda said. “It shows that Portuguese films and series have the quality to be present on platforms like Netflix.”

Directed by Tiago Guedes, “Glória” is a historical spy thriller centered on RARET, the rebroadcasting office of Radio Free Europe. Set in Portugal in the 1960s, the 10-episode series shows how Glória, a small village in Ribatejo, became an unlikely Cold War stopover, where American and Soviet forces fought through dangerous sabotage maneuvers to take control of Europe.

Dr. Paula Noversa, historian and director of the Center for Portuguese Studies and Culture at UMass Dartmouth, said she really enjoyed watching the tense series, which reveals crucial events in Portugal’s history less known to the rest of the world. world.

“I thought it was excellent,” she told O Jornal. “It’s beautifully filmed and the acting was quite good. It’s a series that definitely makes Portugal a sexy place…there are beautiful landscapes, beautiful people. It presents Portugal in a very modern and dynamic way I think it’s good for Portugal and viewers can get a lot out of it.

Dr. Paula Celeste Gomes Noversa.  Courtesy picture.

But the series paints a dark picture of Portugal’s past and its brutal colonial war.

Gloria’s main character, João Vidal, is a young man from a family with ties to the Portuguese fascist regime, who is recruited by the KGB after being politicized during the Colonial War.

“Regarding the way he presents Portuguese history at that time, I think what they did well was the influence of the Portuguese Communist Party within the junior [military] officers,” Dr. Noversa said. “It is a true representation of the influences of the Portuguese Communist Party within the junior office core that actually initiated the coup commonly referred to as the Carnation Revolution.”

But there are a few depictions that are not entirely accurate in his opinion.

“I think the portrayal of the Portuguese Communist Party in this drama is remarkably violent. It gives the impression that the Communist Party had a wonderful agency in Portugal, which I don’t think they really did,” she said.

An anti-communist regime, Portugal worked with the United States during the Cold War.

“Yes, there were CIA agents in Portugal,” Dr Noversa said. “But the Portuguese government in this series doesn’t seem to have a good idea of ​​the number of agents and who they are. I don’t think that’s a clear indication of the Portuguese government, their understanding and their ability to follow the CIA officers.

But since Gloria is not a documentary, Dr. Noversa said she was able to put those little deviations aside and enjoy the show.

“There are a lot of layers, and it’s very interesting,” she said. “Will some people be upset? Yes, especially with the representations of the colonial war. Some people may be upset by what they see, but they should understand that the purpose of using these truly graphic shocking images is to help the viewer understand the plot, build tension, and move the story forward. ‘story.

Tyler Bowe

Portuguese-American Hollywood actor Tyler Bowe praised the series’ direction, cinematography, acting, and soundtrack.

“I thought it was very well done and very precise. I want to congratulate the director, the cast and everyone involved in the production for a job well done,” said the Azorean-born actor who grew up in Fall River. “It’s great to see a Hollywood company like Netflix put its stamp on it and take it around the world. It also gives me a great sense of pride in my heritage, knowing it was all done with talent. Portuguese.

In the 1960s, Portugal was governed by an authoritarian regime, the Estado Novo (New State), led by Oliveira Salazar.

Miranda said Gloria’s recreation of Portugal in the late 1960s following the Estado Novo was flawless.

“The sets, the wardrobe, the characterization, the soundtrack, it all helps transport the viewer to that era,” she said. “I also can’t spare praise for the actors and their performances. I’m very excited to see what the second season will bring considering there are several moments that went unanswered.

Dr Noversa said she was particularly happy that Netflix decided to stream Gloria in Portuguese with English subtitles.

“It shows that Netflix thinks there is a big enough market for a series in Portuguese and it really says a lot about the Portuguese language, which is great for the Portuguese language for a company like Netflix to see that,” she said.

Produced by Grupo SP Televisão’s production company SPi and co-produced with RTP, Gloria is the highest-budget series in the history of Portuguese production, according to a report by the Lusa news agency.

“Until Life Do Us Part” was produced by RTP/Coyote Vadio/Caos Filmes and picked up by Netflix after being broadcast in Portugal on RTP. It is broadcast in 190 territories around the world.

“It is very important that they are slaughtered in Portugal,” Miranda said. “This will create new job opportunities for Portuguese actors and bring more foreign productions to be produced and made in Portugal.”

Netflix isn’t the only streaming service to offer a series featuring Portuguese talent.

On February 25, Amazon Prime Video will release “Operation Black Tide”, a four-episode Spanish/Portuguese series based on the true story of the first narco-submarine intercepted in Europe.

Directed by Daniel Calparsoro, Oskar Santos and João Maia, the series follows the route of a homemade semi-submersible submarine that crosses the Atlantic Ocean with three tons of cocaine inside. Her crew of three survive storms, currents, breakdowns, hunger, fights and constant police harassment.

The cast includes Portuguese actors such as Nuno Lopes (White Lines), Lúcia Moniz (Love Actually) and Luís Esparteiro (Super Pai).

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