Stories of young Nicaraguan exiles are depicted in “Niña Furia” (Girl Fury), a new dramatic series available on HBO Max in the United States. The episodes, in Spanish with English subtitles, were filmed in 2019 with a cast of Costa Ricans and Nicaraguans. The series’ creators hope to make it available in Latin America in the upcoming months.
According to its producers, the show, filmed in Costa Rica, seeks to focus attention in a “real” way on the difficulties exiles experience after leaving their country: unemployment, discrimination, insecurity, and sometimes political persecution that transcends the border.
In addition, it shows images of the Nicaraguan government’s repression of civil society: the persecution unleashed against leaders, students, human rights advocates and the independent press.
Nicaraguan Roberto Guillen was in charge of the production and the script. He explained that in 2018 he began compiling the stories of young people in Costa Rica who “had to flee without a cent and with no documents, due to threats they received in their neighborhoods or universities.”
“Even at this date, they’re still having a hard time in a strange country with no friends or relatives,” he added.
“It seemed to me very important to produce a fictional project that reflected a slice of the reality these kids are living, without having to expose anyone. It’s a fictional series, but it allows us to delve a bit into the political situation in Nicaragua,” Guillen stated.
This first season of “Niña Furia”, consists of six episodes, each lasting between 20 and 25 minutes. Diana, Lucia, Joaquin, and Sofia, among other characters, promise to capture the viewers’ attention from the very beginning, with intense scenes of surviving in a foreign land.
“The title “Niña Furia” arose from that transformation and resilience that all of us young migrants are experiencing. We had to launch into the unknown, throw ourselves into a vacuum, leave our comfort zones to be able to live. We had to take risks, face the unknown, experience the challenges of things new and different,” Guillen commented. In addition to directing the series, he also plays one of the characters.
Stories of the exiles told by exiles
Over 60 people participated in the series. The majority of the roles are played by Nicaraguan migrants, with a good percentage of performers, and actors who are known in the Costa Rican theater and film world.
One of the new talents that participated in the series is “La Morena” who plays Sofia, a young activist who fled Nicaragua due to her participation in the 2018 protests. This character displays many Nicaraguan values: solidarity, loyalty, and brother/sister hood, even though she doesn’t have the economic means to pay for the place she sleeps.
“La Morena” is a Nicaraguan performer and poet who came to Costa Rica to better her living conditions. She experienced in real life some of the situations depicted in the series, such as arriving in a country without knowing anyone, and beginning all over again from nothing, without papers.
“When we were filming, everything was very fresh for me on an emotional level. It was complicated because it caused me to relive many events. There were a lot of parallels; sometimes I felt I’d lost the line between who Sofia is and who I am. In fact, in real life my middle name is Sofia,” the actress commented.
“Watching the completed series gave a very different sensation. It was liberating, like looking back on where we’ve been and then seeing how we are now in 2022,” she concluded.