The weekend is here, the perfect time to watch the enthralling Spanish historical spy drama Dime Quién Soy: Mistress of War.
Based on the novel Tell Me Who I Am (Dime Quién Soy) by best-selling author Julia Navarro, Dime Quién Soy: Mistress of War follows the life, loves, and spy schemes of Spaniard Amelia Garayoa (Irene Escolar, Guernica, Finding Altamira, Isabel) over 55 years — set against the backdrop of historical events in Europe during the 20th century.
It opens in 1998, with a publisher in Madrid receiving a manuscript from a British journalist, then segues to Madrid in 1934. Spain’s government is unstable; communists, socialists, and anarchists are demonstrating in the streets; and Amelia’s father’s factory in Berlin, the family’s main source of income, has been closed by the Nazis. Amelia feels compelled to help her father, so she finally agrees to marry his business associate’s son, Santiago (Pablo Derqui, La línea invisible).
Helping people is Amelia’s thing. She can’t help herself. Which is how she meets Pierre (Oriol Pla, What the Future Holds), a communist revolutionary who inspires her with his talk of fighting for people’s rights and freedom. Pierre thrills her mind and touches her soul, and Amelia gives him her heart and her future, as she sets off with him to Buenos Aires, leaving husband Santiago and baby Javier behind.
It is in 1936, in the Argentinian capital, that she meets renowned Italian opera diva Carla Alessandrini (Maria Pia Calzone, Gomorrah) and German military officer Max von Schumann (Pierre Kiwitt, Money Murder Zurich). Amelia will become close with these two individuals, who will play important roles in her life — but not before she discovers the shattering truth about Pierre. Yet, when he is called to Moscow, she accompanies him out of a (misguided) belief that doing so will help him.
By the spring of 1939, Amelia is back in Madrid. The Spanish Civil Ware might be over, but its effects on Amelia and her family are devastating. With nothing pressing to keep her in Spain, Amelia goes to Berlin with a friend she had met through Pierre: journalist Albert James (Will Keen, The Crown). Albert’s uncle is a member of British Intelligence in London, and he needs Amelia’s help. He needs her to be a spy.
World War II is raging in 1941, and Amelia finds herself alone in Krakow, and then Warsaw, before she lands in Mussolini’s Italy. Here she experiences not one but two losses and exacts a singular revenge. Then in 1944, Amelia meets a man who, unbeknownst to her, had helped her a couple of years earlier. She also reconnects with a person from her past who is known to her, only their reunion is short-lived, and their next encounter is tragic.
As a civil servant for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the German Democratic Republic in 1961, Amelia, clearly drained from decades of dangerous living and liaisons, is settled into a rather dull, drab existence. Outside her window, the Berlin Wall is going up. But before all is said and done in Amelia’s long life, the Wall comes down, and in 1998 she reunites with a man who had been lost to her.
The binge-worthy Dime Quién Soy: Mistress of War is chock-full of romance, intrigue and danger, narrative hooks that, delivered through the talents of Irene Escolar and costars Oriol Pla, Pierre Kiwitt and Will Keen, kept me glued to the TV for three nights in a row.
While the series is a spy drama and an historical drama, it isn’t in the same vein as, say, The Bureau and Invisible Heroes — although it should be noted that the historical elements and the settings ground the story in time and place, while the multilingual dialogue (in Spanish, French, Russian, German, Polish, Italian, Greek, and English) lends further authenticity to the action. The spy and historical aspects are part and parcel of a character-driven drama that is centered on the person of Amelia Garayoa — a thrill-seeking, do-gooder protagonist who both wittingly and unwittingly serves as an intelligence operative while major events in European and world history take place around her.
Over the course of the show’s nine episodes, we witness Amelia’s outer and inner journeys, both tied to her relationships with the key men in her life — her travels as a wannabe revolutionary and smitten lover to those as an intrepid spy, and her growth from a naive, selfish young woman who does what she wants without considering the possible consequences, into a weary old woman burdened by the weight of the guilt from the damage she has caused to people, living a life of her own choosing but not the life that she wants.
Created by Eduard Cortés (Merlí), who also directs, and José Manuel Lorenzo (Captain Alatriste), and written by Piti Español (Moebius), the series features Mar Ulldemolins (The Ministry of Time), Itsaso Arana (High Seas), Stefan Weinert, Jaguar, Carlos Hipólito (Locked Up), Oleg Kricunova (Mar de plástico), Paula Blanco (Night and Day), Jochen Hägele (A French Village), Lana Vlady (Thou Shalt Not Kill), and Jean Deauville (Nicolas Carpentier, Magellan).
A production of Movistar+ and Telemundo International Studios in collaboration with DLO Productions, the limited series is executive produced by José Manuel Lorenzo for DLO Productions alongside Domingo Corral for Movistar+ and Marcos Santana for Telemundo International Studios.
The entirety of Dime Quién Soy: Mistress of War, a Peacock Original, is available for streaming in the US exclusively on Peacock, which launched the series on March 8. It is available in its original Spanish here (turn on English subtitles if you need them) and in the English dubbed version here.
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