Review: La Niña

Ana María Estupiñán in La Niña

La Niña is a series from Colombia, based on true stories about children abducted from their families and forced to fight as soldiers. The main character is the girl Belky. Some of the names have been changed in the telling of her story, but the story is basically accurate.

Belky is played as a teen through university by Ana María Estupiñán. When the story begins Belky is taken away from her home because she volunteers to go in place of her brother, who is sick. She doesn’t escape from the guerillas until she’s 15. Even after she escapes, they continue to hunt her. She knows too much. She must be vigilant at all times.

Her time with the guerillas was full of horrors, which makes her a fierce and forceful character who can stick up for herself and others.

She’s given asylum in a reformatory of some kind. A priest and a woman named Dr. Tatiana  (Constanza Camelo) recognize her intelligence and her already adept knowledge of medicine. They urge her to become a doctor. She goes through high school in a year and a half, passes the university entrance exams, and enters university.

I’m not able to pick out the name of the actor playing the priest on IMDB, even though he was an important character. The material on IMDB about the cast and the various episodes is totally inadequate. It doesn’t even list a director’s name.

Belky doesn’t have a straightforward journey. She falls for Manuel (Sebastian Eslava) early on, and continues to care for him over the years. She’s reunited with her family. Her family, especially her mother (Marcela Benjumea), are unsupportive of her desire to study and go to university. They are in danger because of her and must uproot their own lives to stay safe, a problem that weighs on Belky.

When she reaches the university, other students try to sabotage her education and Manuel is accused of murder. Nothing is easy for Belky, which makes her determination and grit all the more admirable.

La Niña has an amazing 86 episodes, all from 2016! I confess I have not seen them all yet. I’ve watched quite a few and know that the series is engaging throughout and all too real. In the last of the 86 episodes, Belky agrees to let her story be used in a film.

My Spanish is middling good in terms of understanding, but, boy the Colombians speak fast! And with great emotion! Actually, I think there were 100 episodes of La Niña, but they talked so fast they got in done in only 86.

Ana María Estupiñán was wonderful in the lead role. The other actors were good as well. There are locations in the jungle, on farms, in several crowded cities, and in the university.

Unfortunately, this preview doesn’t have English subtitles, but you see Belky as a child protecting her brother, her mother’s laughter when she hears Belky wants to be a doctor, and Manuel in the early stages of their romance. You get a glimpse of the evil Colonel who buried her up to her neck and who searches for her after she escapes.

Watch La Niña on Netflix.

30 thoughts on “Review: La Niña”

  1. Thanks for the review. Would you mind please changing the country’s name to its correct spelling, Colombia, not Columbia? Thanks!

      1. I have question I am in the beginning of the show and need to know if Manual and bleky are endgame/ Are they with each other the whole show.

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  3. Enjoying the series and currently on Ep 33. I’m curious if there was a hair and makeup dept? “Connie’s” hair disturbs me so much….

    1. IMDB does has someone listed as the hair and makeup department, but only for one episode. However, I don’t think that’s correct, because many of their crew listings says one episode. I think their information is just not properly updated there.

  4. There needs to be a season 2. Everyone is invested in Belky. The hunt for her cannot be over and her efforts to become a doctor need to go beyond the current end. A book would be a best seller and the real Belky needs to be given credit for her accomplishments. That is not to say she needs to be identified because we don’t want her dead either.

    This was clearly a movie that needed to be made.

    What is most impressive was how this movie brought women’s issues into focus without rubbing people’s noses in them. Colombia is believable but it isn’t hard to see Colombia’s issues with fair treatment of women are sadly still almost universal.

    I think this movie is much more than a movie. It’s educational and that’s another reason why this story needs to go forward. It’s too important a social commentary to let it stall.

    1. I agree with everything you mentioned. I just finished the 86th episode and it was great. I live in the US and I wish I could help the children regardless what country their are from. Latin America has very serious issues that involves kids. I want to do more for them.

      1. I thought about that too and my book could be the vehicle. But I abandoned it because I can’t see how the book could be marketed without endangering the cast, the crew and the real Belky.

        My Season 2 is an absolute stunner and it hurts to see such a great work go nowhere. Then of course if it did, I’d get sued.

        I hope your ideas are better than mine.

  5. This movie is too important as a social commentary to let it stall in what essentially is the middle of the story. We all saw what happened with the vote at the university. What has happened since is the continuing story. How has the public accepted the real Belky or was her identity completely concealed?

    The bigger story is the numerous women’s issues that are universal. This series deals with these issues in ways many need to learn from. As such it’s a great and existing platform that is thought provoking and full of topics people need to talk about.

    Don’t let it die.

    This story would have been impossible to film in America and many other counties due to the nerves it crushes. For example, Tatianna’s husband is a guy who has too many clones and worse in every country. If it had been an Oscar contender, it should have won every category. Nothing I’ve ever seen touches it.

    Tatianna’s marriage story needs extension and expansion, ugly to watch as it would be. People need to know. People like her husband need to be exposed and he was far from the worst.

    We can’t be done with Barragán either since being in jail in a wheel chair is no obstacle to evil. He still has powerful friends and probably political backers even he doesn’t know about yet. You don’t get to be a colonel without powerful allies – especially if you are a corrupt one. People like that are adept at covering their asses. He has a lot of potential.

    There has to be a political and big business angle to this story because the guerrillas are getting support and funding from many directions. Belky may not have know anything at all about that but being a target would ramp up her awareness just by being who she is – bright and afraid.

    Manuel is a boat anchor with no vision for the potential Belky represents. That’s not her view of course but it’s painfully clear to the audience. It makes Belky’s position so much harder – much like her own family.

    The reality is that her colleagues at the hospital do see her potential but still haven’t really come to grips with what they have.

    The real life person might not agree with any of this for important personal reasons. She still has a potentially precarious life to try and live and nothing can be allowed to interfere with that.

    But the series has a life of its own with a number of very important messages that need to be heard and seen and even more importantly- felt.

    As long as that can be done without compromising the real Belky. On the other hand maybe she needs it. Worth asking.

    The producers, directors and crew did a spectacular job. Please pick up where you left off if possible.

  6. I watched all of this story, please make a fellow up , I loved it , once started I could not quit, I stayed up till like 3 am some nights, this was one of my favorite, loved all the actors & actresses in it, please we need a fellow up ,

  7. The company who owns the rights to this movie seems to have lost interest in it. I set up a teaser Facebook page hoping to reawaken them but so far no luck. The language barrier is a problem for sure. La Niña Season 2 is the name of it. I’ve written quite a bit more than I posted, but I ended up having to finish a book I’d started. That is KILL THE CORONAVIRUS. It had to take priority for obvious reasons. But I will go back to the movie. I think I’ll write Season 2 as a book. If they don’t like it, I’ll change it a bit and issue it under a different title.

      1. No, I’ve been trying to get the makers to revive the series. I think the series is socially significant for a number of reasons as well as being a world class movie and story.

        The obstacle is that I don’t speak Spanish and my contact at Caracol doesn’t seem able to to communicate with the principle players any more than I have.

        I’ve tried to employ a translator, but he’s tied up with legal work.

        I do plan to write Season 2 because I want to know how it ends. There are just too many loose ends and Ana Maria’s portrayal is too good to let this slide.

        The last few months have been taken up finishing the KILL THE CORONAVIRUS book to work on Season 2, but that book is about to be published in a week or so. In the meantime, I’m going back to Season 2.

        I have a sort of real life connection to the story because of brother and a girl from Belize who was similar to Belky in looks and background. So I plan to graft her story onto Belky to give the plot an international curve to create more interest in North America.

        Netflix seems to also have lost interest in the story and have almost totally switched their focus to South Korea. As good as some of
        those movies are, none compare with La Niña.

        La Niña is still 86 episodes short.

        My fear is that the time lag will grow too long to recapture Belky before she changes physical dimensions too much to resume the role. Season 2 could not go forward without her.

        I’ve thought about learning Spanish to find out if she is even interested in resuming her role. It would be quite a challenge because in Season 2 she ends up back with the guerrillas.

        In real life, this could be dangerous since the cartels and the guerrillas are active in the region.

        So even the journey to continue the movie itself could erupt into an amazing story. That angle could be worked into the story as well.

        If you want to talk more about it you can reach me at :

      2. I have never been so addicted and affected by a film before, staying up all night to watch it. I just finished it and wish for more. It’s historic, political, social and other dimensions are powerful. It was the best of the 50 Spanish TV series’ I’ve watched during Covid, as my sanity-saver.

        I’ve been successful getting info about Spanish productions I couldn’t find to stream by writing to They respond to English and may be able to help you.

        E. Lewis

      3. Thank you E. Lewis. I’m going to try it right now. All this time later I’m still finding new ways of looking at La Niña.

        I’ve learned a lot about the Colombian military, guns, ballistics, surgery, prison, wounds, the weather there, torture and other stuff.

        The legal system is next as Barragan gets to appeal his sentence and the movers and shakers start moving and shaking.

        We didn’t see what Belky was was really capable of because she was mostly resting and trying to survive.

        Keep your fingers crossed.

        I keep waiting to see a review of All For Love. I don’t like the title so I haven’t watched it yet.

      4. I’ve come to the conclusion while writing Season 2 on Facebook that there can be no Season 2. As my story converged with real life, I had to ask questions that inevitably lead to events in real time. That old saying: ‘Truth is stranger than fiction’ turned out to be so applicable that the actual guts of the story are vestigial in the movie.

        So, my book is legally the only Season 2 La Niña there can be. That is a shame, but it’s too dangerous in every way you can imagine. Things went downhill fast after the movie was released.

  8. There was a couple things I wanted to see before the show ended. Just a follow up of a few characters. Santiago, after having left the university and possibly him seeing Belky’s story and her getting famous. Esteban in prison, how was he coping after having supposedly killed Julio. Pablo, his mother, Maria Luisa and her mother after Barragan got shot. Barragan himself, after being shot and in prison. Baron in prison. Felipe, whether he got to work things out with Silvia as the father of her child. And finally Avellaneda, Herminio and Segura in prison. Other than that I don’t believe there should be a season 2. Belky went through more than enough in the story and the final episode is really one that instills peace and relief in the viewer as Belky, her family and friends can finally all live in peace and happiness. I believe the ending was done correctly. Really great show.

    1. I felt the same way too, and that, in the normal way would provide plenty for a Season 2. And don’t forget, there’s a shipment of guns and ammo out there and Esteban is still alive to talk about it and his belief that Alias Sara is the only one who knows where it is. Whether she does or not is irrelevant to criminals who want to believe she does know where the cache is.

      Barragan recovers because Belky snd Victor got it wrong. The Colonel was shot in the spleen, not the liver. He still want vengeance and has pieerful friends.

      On top of all that, THE WAR DID NOT END.

      It got worse instead of better. In real life, Montoya, the general who drove the almost successful amnesty was himself charged with a systemic approach to murdering innocent civilians by rhe thiusands. Most of the army is believed complicit and as a direct result, Belky, her family and friends are far from safe in real life and that would include the entire film infustry connected with this story.

      That’s why I stopped pushing for Season 2.

      It’s too dangerous and this battle will last for many more years.

      By failing to end the war, the civilians started taking revenge on surrendered guerrillas and murdering them, driving many back into the hills where they’ve at least partly given up the political motive in favour of running drugs.

      Belky’s story is far, far from over.

      1. Caracol Internacional finally responded to my queries and stated categorically that there will be no Season 2 for La Niña. They also stated that they don’t want a Season 2 in print either. So I took down my Facebook page. I thought I could revisit the story by changing the names in Season 2 and keep going and I actually tried it. But the new character took on a life of its own and the story is now wildly different and does not have the benefit of a Season 1. It’s amazing in its own right. Anyway it was fun while it lasted. Downloading this series is also difficult and time consuming. So once it’s gone, it’s gone. What a shame.

        Keep up the great work Virginia. You are brilliant.

      2. Thanks for letting me and the many readers who come to this page know what is going on with your work on La Niña. Hope you find an interesting new project.

      3. Hello,
        I am interest in getting involve with helping children from Latin America. I just finished watching the last episode. We need to protect the children from evil individuals. Please contact me.
        Thanks Maria

  9. arnold de silva

    Excellent tele drama.It is well played and easy to understand. But some names are missing. for example, the person who played the dean of the medical school.

    1. When the series first aired on Netflix, it had already aired in many other countries as a weekly TV series since 2016 and all of the cast members, even the priest, Father Rivas could easily be found. That was back in 2017, 18, 19.

      Now it’s 2021 and it’s losing a bit of steam. It’s not being promoted to get English speaking people to get over their aversion to subtitles.

      The company that produced it seems to have lost interst in it too and will not produce a Season 2. The series must have really run for a few years because you can see Belky grow up over what seemed like 4 years. her sisters did too. It wasn’t as noticeable with the rest of the cast.

      I wrote a Season 2 and in doing so discovered that the beautiful ending was rejected by the people of Colombia. They voted out their Nobel winning President and opted for a continuation of the war. It is now far too dangerous to carry on the story. It would put the cast members at real risk.

      It turned out that the false positives were a much bigger deal than the series let on and that played even more into the veracity of the show. The top General and many of his officers have been indicted for killing thousands if civilians to make it seem like progress was being made. Instead, the army was killing innocent people for cash bonuses and extended holiday leave.

      On this basis, the real Belky is likely living a protected life still and the actress herself can’t be much better off.

      Anyway I have written Season 2 involving the real people and I will have it published posthumously. So, if you are you enough, you may eventually get to read it.

      I wouldn’t do this, except for the fact that in its entirety, its one of the greatest stories ever told because it’s true. Even Season 2 is real but not where the actual characters are concerned, rather the unfolding events.

      That Colombia turned its back on the peace initiative was a stunning reversal that took that destroyed possibly the most imaginative peace agenda into global betrayal for other countries embroiled in civil wars. They extinguished a beacon of hope unlike anything the world has ever seen. That’s why I can’t let it go. I’m hoping I can drive a happier outcome if my version ever sees the light of day in some sort of miraculous collision where fiction converges with fact.

      La Nina did just that during its run. Maybe lightning can strike twice.

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