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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UPR chapter.

On January 31st, 2020 Netflix launched a gripping six-episode Italian series set in the 17th century (time of the persecution of witches) called Luna Nera.

The Witch is a historical figure that represents the prejudices that women face. Women who showed any shred of independence, wisdom, strength and intelligence were accused of being witches, therefore burned at the stake or hanged. Wisdom in herbs and healing or being an unmarried and independent woman were deemed unruly and grounds for persecution. The Witch turned into an icon for women’s liberation for many years, especially in Feminist movements. Nowadays it’s gaining even more traction with books and movies; reviving cult classics such as The Craft, and the launch of new, more recent series like The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Always a Witch, and now Luna Nera, to name a few.



Da sole sono streghe. Insieme diventano una forza sovrannaturale. #LunaNera

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It starts off fast-paced in the first episode and we’re introduced to a whole array of characters at once. The way we get introduced to the main character is interesting. Ade, a young woman who works with her grandmother as a midwife, is later accused of killing a newborn baby because of how she said she could feel it dying in its mother’s womb. She is a complicated character; her whole life is swept up in a whirlwind from the very first episode. She is forced to choose between her destiny as a witch and an impossible love; this also means facing persecution from a radical male group called the Benandanti (Catholic witch hunters who dedicate their lives to rid their town of “evil”).



Le streghe sono finalmente tra noi. #LunaNera è ora disponibile.

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Ade tries to live in her town without bothering anyone and care for her sibling, until her grandmother is executed by Sante: the leader of the Benandanti and the father of Pietro, the man she is falling in love with. Ade’s whole world is flipped upside down; we soon meet the group of witches that keep her and her sibling safe. They are a remarkable group of women, strongly independent, resourceful, and very powerful.

This show carries a feminist theme in nature; women supporting women and risking their lives to save other women. A clear message of fighting the patriarchy and against oppression can be clearly read in between the lines. Another exciting factor about this series is the portrayal of a queer relationship, without the male gaze being involved.

The ending is unexpected and promising. The series may have had problems with pacing and not taking many especially dark turns in the plot. One of the critiques given is about the portrayal of Stregheria, Southern European/Italian Witchcraft, but it does make up for it by introducing the herbalist elements of witchcraft and familiar pagan imagery.

The magic that we see in the series is whimsical and very enjoyable. Luna Nera is a series that has a lot of potential and its screenplay is well written and enjoyable. I recommend it to anyone looking for fantasy, witchcraft, and magic, with a feminist edge. Also, to anyone that enjoys Italian series and cinema, this one does not disappoint.



Bisogno di idee per il look di stasera? #LunaNera

Une publication partagée par Netflix Italia (@netflixit) le

A 22-year old writer and Comparative Literature student with a Certification in Women and Gender Studies at the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus. Passionate about poetry, storytelling, languages, translation, editing, art, pop culture, cinema, theater, and social justice. Writing has always been her passion and she wants to use her words to effect change, to contribute something meaningful; focusing on topics of social justice such as feminism and activism to shed light on vulnerable commmunities and amplify the voices of those who are often ignored.