Intimacy (Intimidad), hard hitting Spanish drama

Itziar Ituño in Intimacy

Intimacy (Intimidad), set in the beautiful Spanish city of Bilboa, hits hard on themes of privacy, sexism, and justice under a patriarchy. It features multiple women who all have a similar problem with intimate imagery and revenge p0rn being used to harm them.

Intimacy (Intimidad) comes from writers Verónica Fernández and Laura Sarmiento Pallarés. Verónica Fernández is the writer of two other popular Spanish series I’ve reviewed here: Hache, and High Seas.

Emma Suárez, Ana Wagener, Yune Nogueiras, Itziar Ituño, Verónica Echegui, and Patricia López Arnaiz in Intimacy
Intimacy features a large cast of women who were victims of male assults and humiliations

The main character is Malen (Itziar Ituño). When the series begins she is Deputy Mayor, a woman with political ambitions. She has a rocky marriage to Alfredo (Marc Martínez). They have a teen daughter, Leire (Yune Nogueiras), who is just coming into her own sexuality.

To relax, Malen goes to the family’s house on a beach in France. There she meets César (Eduardo Lloveras). She doesn’t know anything about him, but she starts an affair with him. They have sex on what she thinks is an empty beach. However, someone filmed it and the video is released.

It causes a huge scandal in her family, in the city of Bilboa, in the halls of government, and in her daughter’s high school.

Patricia López Arnaiz in Intimacy
Bego lost a sister

In episode one, we also meet Ane (Verónica Echegui). She commits suicide over some images of her that were circulated among the men in the factory where she worked. Ane stays active in the story in flashbacks and voiceovers. Ane’s sister Bego (Patricia López Arnaiz) is a teacher. She works in the same school where Leire is on the swim team. Bego is determined to find out who brought her sister to such a terrible choice.

Ana Wagener in Intimacy
Those embryos won’t wait, Alicia.

Alicia (Ana Wagener) is a police detective who works on crimes of privacy, which is where the cases of images and videos like the ones used against women fall in the legal system in Spain. She is dogged and determined and she will find out who originally released the images and arrest them.

Alicia’s partner (wife?) is Maria (Rebeca Matellán). She is desperate to have a baby. Alicia is hesitant about it.

Yune Nogueiras in Intimacy
The high schooler Leire has problems as serious as the adults

Multiple storylines connect the cases of Malen, Ane (and Bego), the teen Leire, and Alicia the detective’s hidden story. They unfold in the present and in flashbacks.

Supporting Malen is her political advisor Miren (Emma Suárez) and her aide Hugo (Francesco Carril).

A genius opening shot comes from under a conference room table. Chair after chair is filled with the legs of men in suits. Finally we see a bare-legged woman in high heels at the head of the table. Not one of those suits wanted her there.

Men in suits, men in hard hats, men in living rooms – men did not want to hear about or respond to any of the issues raised by women in this series. It was a fight all the way, over obstacles, tradition, money, violence, and lies. Men were clear: a woman should not be able to destroy a man’s life with accusations of being used and victimized.

Nevertheless, the women persisted. And persisted.

The series had excellent actors, gorgeous direction, and struck on themes that are universal in our age of social media. It was well done and very engaging. I thought whoever wrote the English subtitles for the Spanish dialog was a bit fast and loose with the word choices, but the meaning remained.

The series is on Netflix.

Author: Virginia DeBolt

After many years as an educator and writer, Virginia retired from working life. She's always loved a good movie or TV show and wants to use her free time to talk about them with you now. #EldersRock! Look for Old Ain't Dead on Twitter.

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