follow our newspaper

Arts & Entertainment

‘Siempre Bruja’ is Off to a Rough Start

By Zoe Florius, A&E Editor 

This article contains spoilers.

“Siempre Bruja,” a Netflix original, was advertised as being a show centered on the power and strength of an Afro-Colombian witch named Carmen. The show is set in 17thcentury Cartagena, where Carmen is enslaved. At a slave auction, a slave owner’s son, Cristobal, spots Carmen and becomes infatuated with her. Eventually, Carmen and Cristobal form a relationship, and are portrayed to be in love. When Cristobal’s parents find out about their relationship they accuse Carmen of hexing him to fall in love with her. Cristobal’s mother also attributed Carmen’s ability to read and write to her witchcraft – not her intelligence. Carmen is sentenced to be burned at the stake but mysteriously survives. While she’s on fire, she’smysteriously transported to the year 2018 in modern day Cartagena.

The show presents time in a choppy manner, cutting from past to present at random. In one of her flashbacks, Carmen sees Cristobal being killed by his father, who cannot fathom his son being bewitched by a slave, and thus disowns him. She learns that her purpose for being in the present-day is because a wizard needs a favor from her. The wizard claims if she helps him, he can turn back time for her, allowing her to prevent Cristobal’s death.

Apart from its confusing use of flashbacks and foreshadowing, “Siempre Bruja” didn’t actually air on Netflix as it had been advertised. The title of the show on Netflix (for English speakers, at least) is not “Siempre Bruja,” but “Always a Witch.” Similarly, the show is not in Spanish, but is English-dubbed. I decided to manually switch the show’s audio to Spanish and use English subtitles.

The show’s portrayal of consensual love between a slave and a slaveholder is damaging. While the lovers may have had legitimate feelings for one another, the overall dynamic of their relationship would never have allowed for them to exist as equals: Cristobal and his family owned Carmen. To imply slaves found themselves in situations where  their owners were at all consensual is a disservice, and it undermines the brutality of slavery as a whole. Cristobal saw Carmen at a slave auction and decided that he wanted to have her – and he did. The show’s romanization of the slave and slave owner dynamic was tasteless at best.

I will continue to watch the “Siempre Bruja,” as its visuals are pleasing, but it needs to be said that the show’s foundation is problematic at best.

Recent Articles

Chuggaaconroy is a Wholesome Content Creator

By Quo Vadis October 21, 2020

By Jared Almanzor, Staff Writer Emiliano Rodolfo Rosales-Birou, best known as Chuggaaconroy, is a Let’s Player on YouTube and he has been around since 2008. I like to call him Chugga. He is an inspiration to me. Chugga is the reason why I stuck to gaming and why I embrace my childish side. Chugga’s first Let’s Play video was on EarthBound, and it started way back on March 26, 2008 and ended on June 10, 2008. It...

“The Shining” is a Halloween Classic

By Quo Vadis October 21, 2020

By Lauren Denton, Staff Writer The weather is getting colder, the days are getting shorter and the leaves are changing color before they slowly start to fall to the ground. Not only does this mean that it is officially autumn, but it also means that Halloween is fast approaching. With the breeze that is in the air, as well as the rain that comes along with the season, it is the perfect weather to curl up and...