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The Bizarre Political Ideology of Netflix’s La Casa de Papel

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Money Heist (Netflix/Trailer image via YouTube) Instead of recognizing the root cause of Spain’s economic difficulties, the series advocates a left-wing revolution against a democratic state.

On September 3, Netflix released part 1 of the fifth and final season of La casa de papel (Money Heist), one of the streaming service’s most popular shows of all time. It is a gripping drama of a group of robbers carrying out almost impossible heists of the heavily fortified Royal Mint of Spain (seasons 1-2) and Bank of Spain (seasons 3-5), meticulously planned by a brilliant mastermind, known as “the Professor,” interspersed with intense relationship drama. However, the problematic political ideology that underpins the show is usually ignored by viewers and critics alike. The main song that is sung throughout the series by the characters after the Professor teaches it to them is the anti-fascist anthem “Bella Ciao,” a song of the Italian partisans, who led the fight against Nazi Germany and the Mussolini regime in World War II. Thanks to the popularity of the series, “Bella Ciao” actually charted in many countries in 2018.

A central theme is that the robbers are the modern reincarnation of the Italian anti-fascist resistance. The idea of the robbers as “the resistance” becomes more blatant in Season 3, which starts after one of the robbers is captured on the tropical island where he resides after the successful completion of the heist of the Royal Mint and is sent overseas to be tortured instead of being returned to Spain to stand trial. The Professor specifically declares war against the system, and unlike in the first two seasons, where there are “good guys” among the police, in season 3, the police are depicted as vile torturers, and we are introduced to César Gandía, the head of security at the Bank of Spain, who is a scary-looking racist. In season 4, we learn that the former hostage most vocal in his hatred of the robbers, Arturo, is, in fact, a rapist.

Throughout the series, the robbers’ popularity with the public is emphasized. We see large

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