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Bolivar poster

Bolívar (South America)

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Why it’s worth your time:

Based on the life and many loves (it is a telenovela, after all) of Venezuelan liberator Simón Bolívar, Bolívar the series gives you an entertaining depiction of one of the most important figures in world history. During his time, Bolívar liberated six countries (Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Panama) from Spanish rule, as a privileged light-skinned opposed slavery (even though he owned them—uggh) and became the face of liberty in most of South America.

Bolivar - Netflix series

Bolívar the series follows a young Simon as his mind is sparked with revolutionary thoughts by his teacher all the way to the victories on the battlefield and the bevy of women he beds (again, it is a telenovela).

The takeaway:

In a time when the voices of Black and Brown people are paramount, Bolívar reminds us that after turmoil and revolution change will come—even if it means not all of us will survive.

Yet, his story doesn’t come without failure. Even after creating his ideal country in Gran Colombia (Colombia, Ecuador, Panama and Venezuela, and parts of northern Peru and northwestern Brazil), and his high hopes of a more united Latin America, the same people Bolívar liberated turned on him and his ideals. The betrayal of his loyalty is perhaps one of the biggest errs in Latin American history.

Telenovela Bolivar revolution

Alas, as famed Panamanian singer/songwriter Rubén Blades sang in his classic “Plástico”—”De una raza unida la que Bolívar soñó (Of a united people that Bolívar dreamed of)”—it was never to be during El Libertador’s lifetime.

Watch it with:

Anyone who believes in equality for all. Bolívar, much like the man, is a series of liberty, justice and plenty of scenes en la cama (in bed). Remember it’s still a telenovela. Revolution and sex, what else is there?

Where to find it:  Netflix

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