Gerardo Herrero films Raqa, a thriller starring Álvaro Morte
- The Spanish director and producer turns his hand to spy films with the screen adaptation of the book Virgins and Executioners, written by journalist Tomás Bárbulo
Under Therapy [+see also:
film profile], awarded the Silver Biznaga - Special Jury Prize at this year's Malaga Festival for the ensemble of actors and actresses, was the latest work as director of the also producer Gerardo Herrero, who is currently filming Raqa, a political thriller that delves into the heart of the Islamic State and the darkness of Jihad. Filming took place in Casablanca and Marrakech (Morocco) and in Spain in the Bárdenas Reales desert, Tafalla and other locations in the region of Navarre.
The film stars Álvaro Morte (a popular face thanks to the series Money Heist and recently seen in feature films such as Lost & Found [+see also:
film profile] and Mirage [+see also:
film profile]) and Mina El Hammani (seen in the series Elite and Historias para no dormir [+see also:
series profile]), supported by Abdelatif Hwidar (also seen in Elite and in the thriller All the Names of God [+see also:
film profile]), Cristina Kovani (the series La caza and El silencio), Ben Temple (Upon Entry [+see also:
interview: Alejandro Rojas and Juan Se…
film profile]), Déborah François (recently seen in The Paramedic and Savage State [+see also:
film profile]) and Juan Carlos Vellido (who worked with Herrero in Under Therapy).
The screenplay by Irene Zoe Alameda is based on the novel Virgins and Executioners, by Tomás Bárbulo, a journalist from A Coruña (who has worked for 25 years for the newspaper El País and others such as El Sol, Expansión, Claro and La Gaceta de los Negocios) and writer specialising in the Arab world (La historia prohibida del Sáhara español, La asamblea de los muertos). It tells the story of how in 2014, in the dangerous streets of Raqa, the international spy Haibala (alias El Saharaui) tries to hunt down El Jordano, one of the most wanted ISIS leaders.
But he is not the only one infiltrating Syria: Malika, a nurse from Ceuta working for Europol, has arrived in the city for the same reason. Marked by summary executions, the enslavement of women and bombings, Haibala and Malika will each try to achieve their goal: to locate and hand over the leader of the fundamentalist organisation and precipitate the fall of ISIS.
"A spy thriller with an underlying social portrait, Raqa depicts life in a city dominated by one of the most ruthless terrorist groups. The protagonists share the same mission, but for different secret services: living on a razor's edge and unable to make any mistakes, the tension and fear are palpable in every action", says Gerardo Herrero.
Raqa is produced by the Spanish company Tornasol Media and Malika and El Saharaui A.I.E., in co-production with Angle Production (Morocco), with the participation of RTVE and Prime Video. The film will be distributed in Spain by DeAPlaneta.
(Translated from Spanish by Vicky York)
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