Kuwait has long been a stronghold for the dramatic arts in the Gulf region, producing numerous series and plays year after year that often get the Arabian Peninsula talking. With “The Exchange,” Netflix’s latest original series set in the country, Kuwait may have found its first global hit, earning an endorsement from The New York Times along with acclaim from reviewers and audiences both in the Middle East and worldwide.
By telling a female-focused finance story with wit, style, and substance, “The Exchange” may mark the moment that Kuwait’s deep roster of artistic talent finally earns the breakthrough they have long been yearning for — with the dream of telling their stories on the world stage set to become a reality.
“We have an identity that we’ve never had a real chance to show,” Rawan Mahdi, the series’ breakout star, tells Arab News. “This show is the first chance we’ve had to show our identities as Kuwaiti artists. This was the dream that I and many of us have always had. Now, our aspirations are set even higher.”
Mahdi herself, who dominates the show’s screentime through its six episodes, is a major reason why the project — a period piece set in 1987 — works so well. She plays Farida, a recently-divorced single mother whose struggles to provide for her family lead her to the Kuwaiti Stock Exchange. There, she teams up with Munira, a savvy trader also attempting to reshape the broken ‘boys club’ from the inside. Together, they battle the misogyny and biases that hold them back to become forces of nature within the exchange, earning the respect of their peers and the envy of their enemies — all to help their struggling families.
Source : Arab News