The highly-anticipated Netflix show Siempre Bruja officially has a debut date. Since the streaming service revealed it was bringing bruja vibes starring an Afro-Latina lead to subscribers in October, eager viewers have been keeping a close eye out for the release date.
Siempre Bruja (Always a Witch) will hit Netflix on February 1, 2019. The news was issued in an announcement clip that dropped on December 11, showing Carmen, who is played by Afro-Colombian actress Angely Gaviria (seen in Pambelé), walking down a colorful street in a floral, floor-length dress.
In the series, we’re introduced to the 19-year-old enslaved witch who’s set to be burned at the stake in the Colombian city of Cartagena in 1646 for falling in love with a white man. She’s given the option to save herself, but there’s a catch. Carmen must never use her powers again, however, she’s able to travel through time from the 17th century to present-day Cartagena.
She gets settled into her new life only to discover, as the title and show description notes, “once a witch, always a witch.”
The Caracol Televisión-produced series is only the second ever Colombian original series for Netflix.
“We’re excited to continue investing in the wonderful content and talent Colombia has to offer, and especially to be working with Caracol, as well as the creators of hit shows such as La Esclava Blanca,” Netflix vice president of International Originals Erik Barmack said in a statement. “Our second Colombian original Siempre Bruja is not only a magnetic young adult story that audiences will love but also holds a powerful message of empowerment that will connect deeply with members both in Colombia and globally.”
While there’s undoubtedly elements of fantasy and witchcraft built within the series, its historical context makes it just as appealing. Cartagena was considered one of the seats of the Holy Office of the Inquisition where men and a great deal of women were tortured in the name of witchcraft, blasphemy and heresy. Broadly reported more than 800 people were put on trial in Cartagena over the course of the Inquisition, including enslaved Africans accused of witchcraft and enchantment.
The ten-episode series is inspired by the 2015 novel Yo, Bruja by Isidora Chacón. With brujeria taking center stage in both television (think: Charmed reboot) and the digital space (just search #brujas), we’re sure viewers will be locked into the magic the show has to offer. Also, many Afro-Latinxs are excited to see one of their own lead in a show, which is still rare on most network or streaming shows.