Nevenka: Breaking the Silence review – Nevenka Fernández bravely leads this Netflix docuseries

March 5, 2021
Daniel Hart 0
Netflix, TV Reviews
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Netflix documentary series Nevenka: Breaking the Silence


Nevenka: Breaking the Silence acts as a marker of small progress, but it’s also a cold reminder of what women can experience in the workplace when dealing with power.

Netflix documentary series Nevenka: Breaking the Silence was released on the streaming service on March 5, 2021.

Nevenka: Breaking the Silence recalls a time in history that does not sit well for Spain in the late 90s; the country’s first sexual harassment case is discussed, and even at a glance, the archive footage reeks of divisiveness due to the time period. Nevenka Fernández took an opportunity to work with popular mayor Ismael Álvarez; she had every right to take that opportunity to pursue a political career and to work within these bounds professionally. This Netflix series surfaces the horror Nevenka had to go through; how she had to sacrifice her career to fight against a mayor who could not take no for an answer. This real story is the typical narrative of a man in power using his predatory ways. Another Weinstein. Another murky blemish in our history against women.

Before we even delve into the elements of this docuseries, it must be noted that Nevenka Fernández actively speaks her truth directly to the audience. Since the #MeToo movement, there’s an urge for women to come forward bravely, and this documentary series marks how far we have come since then. Nevenka: Breaking the Silence is a series that would not have happened without the shift that movement caused; I sincerely believe that.

And with Nevenka Fernández directly telling her story to the audience, the 3-part series is worth our time. There’s a real emotion ingrained in the timeline of events — it feels personal and heavy — it expects the audience to greatly empathise, knowing that Nevenka’s genuineness and bravery come at a cost; she’s reliving a horrific, traumatic moment in her life that cost her everything, both publically and professionally.

It’s interesting how the world has changed, even if it is incrementally; Nevenka: Breaking the Silence reveals how the sexual harassment trial had the town divided because Ismael Álvarez is a “great mayor”. In the present day, if this happened, the trial would have happened on social media. It feels less important “who you are” in 2021 — if you are a predator, there’s no divisiveness; Harvey Weinstein did not split public opinion so, in many ways, the Netflix series shows that we have made some progress, even if it’s not as progressive as we’d like.

Nevenka: Breaking the Silence acts as a marker of small progress, but it’s also a cold reminder of what women can experience in the workplace when dealing with power. It’s difficult to watch this series when Nevenka describes how powerless she felt in certain situations; how she had to change her behavior and act in a certain way to battle off a man that would not stop persisting. There’s plenty of reality checks in this docuseries that magnifies how a workplace can systematically cover-up harassment and abuse through governance and turning a blind eye. 

The 3-part series is a reminder that the conversation needs to keep going so we don’t lose sight of what we are trying to achieve.

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