David Simon-Spanish Civil War, Wha?

My worlds are colliding in my brain like some Infinite Earths Crisis…


Absolutely! Anyone know what service it will be shown on?


Awhile ago he mentioned that he was trying to pitch 3 shows: Rise of porn in Times Square (the show The Deuce), a series about the Spanish Civil War, and finally an adaptation of “Legacy of Ashes” which is a history of the CIA.

I’m excited for this.

I do hope it centers on the International Brigades, or that it’s shot in Spanish, hopefully without the accent travesty of the first two seasons of Narcos.

From Davidsimon.com :

Aw, dammit. I was kind of hoping it wouldn’t focus on the international brigades, as it’s the take on the Spanish Civil War we in the Anglophone world usually get, eg in Hemingway or Orwell, or even films like Land & Freedom. Not to say Simon won’t bring something fresh to it, but still, it’s clearly not the only or even main story to tell about the civil war.

It’s not, but it’s perhaps the easier one to tell for an outsider in an earnest way. And the safer one in terms of it being aired here, tbh. This subject is still really politicized.

The series having Catalonian financial backing makes the focus in the Brigades easier to digest.

But me wanting the International Brigades focus has more to do with expected quality of the performances.

Regarding the cast, I agree (performances).

Regarding politicization…well, that’s going to be interesting. Spain has swung from Nationalist BS to post 1975 “don’t talk about it” Forgetting to now a very left-dominated narrative in the last few years now. Well, Simon…

Simon tells the truth. And has no patience for “narratives”, politically speaking. He will show the Red and White Terrors for the equally galling crimes that hey both were…Pre-coup as well (Red “Fervor” getting out of hand after the Popular Front was elected, the Asturias Mining massacre.). That’s Simon. No BS. No “good guys” and “bad guys”. I’m curious as to how those politically invested in certain narratives and interpretations in Spain today will deal with that. Needless to say, I am excited.

That’s just if you look at fiction media, because fiction media here leans left as it does everywhere, so with censorship out of the way, yes that narrative is a little one sided.

But the political narrative is not such, with the party in power refusing (sometimes) to publicly condemn the dictatorship or even the coup itself. When Carrillo died years ago there was much talking about Paracuellos and if an homage to such a figure was adequate at all.

It is still politicized.

It will certainly be interesting to see a more nuanced take on some events, but it is going to be polemic no matter the stance it takes (and given where the funding comes from -a former Troskyist and current Catalan separatist, and thus very anti-Spanish and anti Spanish Nationalism-, it might very well skew very hard left).

The criticism in Spanish social media about the announcement has mainly come from the right, not from the left.

Concur. Left leaning historians have dominated Civil War scholarship as well, though too. But as I said, I have faith in Simon.

Now I have a battle post to work on. :)

Jesus. The SCW. Talk about egregious asshats on both sides. With some very disappointed idealists in the middle.

It’s the 1930s International ideologue’s Wire.

Either I am reading the wrong history books or you’re both insane for not thinking Franco the greater evil here.

There is a whole Forum category for “Politics” Tim, and respectfully, I prefer not to engage there. And certainly not here.

I can understand that, so can we keep all the ‘both sides are just as bad’ and ‘left-leaning historians’ out of the thread too?

More on topic, I am not sure that Simon will be so morally ambiguous anyway. The Wire certainly had its many shades of grey, but there were definitely ‘bad guys’ and the best example of that is Marlo. In fact, I was looking for Simon quotes relating to this question of his intent with the show and found this:


I am curious to see how he deals with it. He obviously had more grey than anything else in the Wire. I’d say the closest to evil in the series is the Greeks. I’d even argue that Marlo is just another puppet of theirs.

" If you look at George Macready and Adolph Menjou, I believe you have Rawls and Valchek."


There’s a fascinating story to be told about how some of these guys were actively supporting Hitler 6 months later and some held onto their convictions. I hope we get to hear it. Certainly if he’s going to be making connections between the Spanish Civil War and WW2, that’s gotta come up. He can’t just end with a fade to black and a message “Two years later, Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union and World War Two began.”

Yes the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact really didn’t go over too well in some SCW veteran circles. But if you were a party-line Communist in 1939, you swallowed hard and did the 180 degree pivot. Both sides of the road were occupied by murderous, ideologically-insane criminals. A humanist could only try to stay in the middle of the road and dodge speeding cars. That was Orwell’s point anyway. I can’t wait to see what Simon does with it.

So, @Tim_N three months later, and in the “War Film” thread, I posted this clip of the MacReady and Menjou scene of which David Simon was referring to, but for other reasons. Then I remembered our convo here. :) Check it out. Think Rawls and Valchek. Fumy how things come circle sometimes.