Netflix released a trailer for its upcoming drama, Siempre Bruja, which follows the story of Carmen, an Afro-Colombian slave and witch living in the colonial coastal settlement of Cartagena in 1646 who time travels to 2019 to avoid being burned at the stake as a witch. Netflix has had some hits and misses lately with representation, so I’m cautiously optimistic that they’ll handle the show featuring a darker skinned Afro-Colombian woman with care.
Inspired by the novel Yo, Bruja by Isidora Chacon, Carmen, played by the gorgeous Angely Gaviria, is scorned because women and witches “…tempt, because they seduce, because they think.” I’m not sure how much they’ll delve into Afro-Colombian culture in the 1600s or in present day Cartagena, but we can hope they treat it with care and nuance.
There’s been some controversy over the casting in another witch drama, the reboot of Charmed, where there was confusion over which of the cast members was Latina and which were not. Apparently only one is actually Latina. In the case of Siempre Bruja, it’s good to see both cast and crew representing the culture being featured.
Netflix will air ten one-hour episodes and will be directed by Liliana Bocanegra and Mateo Stivelberg with Ana Maria Parra as head writer. It bodes well that there’s good representation behind the scenes as well. This is just one of the lineup of new Latin American shows Netflix is producing including Ingobernable, Club de Cuervos, Edha, Narcos, Samantha!, O Mecanismo, O Matador, and Coisa Mais Linda.
Let’s check out the trailer and let me know what you think…