Directed by Tiago Guedes and starring Miguel Nunes and Victoria Guerra, Glória is the highest budget series in the history of Portuguese production while it is the first series to be broadcasted on the streaming platform with the most number of subscribers worldwide.
Cold War Background
The thriller is based with a background in the Cold War and takes place in the village of Glória do Ribatejo, Portugal, where for decades an American broadcasting centre (RARET) operated with the goal of broadcasting western propaganda to the countries of the Eastern Bloc.
Despite being a fictional story, Glória is based on real facts and can be seen as a way to learn a little more about Portuguese history before the carnation revolution, for Portuguese and non-Portuguese. Like most stories, it has a touch of romance to warm the plot, but it's mostly very focused on 1960’s espionage and the Portuguese political system.
More specifically, it is based on the dictatorship, known as the Estado Novo, which was perpetuated due to the fear and repression of the political police until 1974 and the war in the colonies that led to death in many young people in Africa.
The star of the series is engineer João Vidal (actor Miguel Nunes), the son of a leader from the Estado Novo, recruited by the KGB, the Moscow secret police.
Portuguese films in general have very specific characteristics such as: very long takes; dark tones in the filming; sad songs and nostalgic stories.
This one is no different. The filmmakers made an effort to maintain the Portuguese identity, without forgetting that they were launching a series for the world that needed some adaptations to globalise it in order to make it attractive to the general public.
In an interview with Lusa News Agency, the screenwriter of the series, Pedro Lopes, said that Glória represents the entry of Portugal “into another level of filmmaking” in the country.
Glória, whose ten-episode first season is available on Netflix, is a co-production by SPi and RTP, who will also broadcast the series, on a date to be announced.
“This project brought an original story, not only to non-Portuguese people, who began to understand the role that Portugal played as a platform in this period of the Cold War; and also for the Portuguese, because RARET, despite being a complex of 200 hectares where 500 people worked, remains a well-kept secret throughout all these years”, he explained.
Pedro Lopes highlighted the relevance of Netflix, operating in Portugal since 2015: “I believe that Glória on Netflix, which is a leader in streaming with over 293 million subscribers and present in over 190 countries, can bring visibility to Portugal and to our sector."
Glória premiered on Netflix at a time when other streaming platforms are also producing and broadcasting Portuguese fiction series, such as Auga Seca, by HBO Portugal, and Operação Maré Negra, by Amazon Prime Video.
The series Glória features the participation of Victoria Guerra, Afonso Pimentel, Adriano Luz, Carolina Amaral, Joana Ribeiro, Albano Jerónimo, Marcelo Urgeghe, Stephanie Vogt and Jimmy Taenaka, among others.