From its captivating retro aesthetics to its powerful advocacy for women taking centre stage in society and the workforce, Netflix's "The Exchange" offers a dynamic blend of entertainment and social commentary.
Set in Kuwait in 1987, the series revolves around two women: Farida (Rawan Mahdi), a newly divorced single mother, and her emancipated cousin Munira (Mona Hussein). The two women shatter the glass ceiling in the male-dominated and often close-minded world of the Kuwait Stock Exchange.
Comprising six episodes, each ranging from 40 to 50 minutes, "The Exchange" boasts a talented team of writers, including Nadia Ahmad, Anne Sobel, and Adam Sobel, with Jasem AlMuhanna and Karim El Shenawy directing, and Abdullah Boushahri as the show's producer.
The series ingeniously delves into various facets of women's lives, highlighting their unwavering resolve to challenge societal norms and taboos while shedding light on the deprivation of even the most basic rights and necessities. One such poignant example is the absence of women's restrooms in the Kuwait Stock Exchange building, a stark reminder of women's historical exclusion from such institutions.
However, times are evolving, and Munira, as the first woman to work in the Kuwaiti stock exchange, confronts these challenges head-on, consistently proving her detractors wrong. A similar determination fuels Farida as she defies male guardianship to attain independence and autonomy through her decision to pursue a career in finance as well. Each episode serves as a poignant critique of false positivity, exposing the doubts and belittlement that women face in their professional lives.
"The Exchange" underscores the critical importance of girls having access to education while portraying the struggles of teenage years through the experiences of Farida’s daughter Jude.
What adds depth to the series is its incorporation of historical events. Set against the backdrop of an era marked by political instability, these historical dynamics significantly impact the financial world and the stock market, adding an intriguing layer to the series’ narrative.
Nadia Ahmad's storytelling is inspired by the strong, empowered women of her surroundings, many of whom are pioneers in the finance industry. Their influence infuses the series with authenticity and resonance.
Netflix’s "The Exchange" is a compelling and thought-provoking series that still resonates with contemporary themes of gender equality, empowerment, and women’s enduring spirit. The series is available now on Netflix, offering viewers an immersive journey into the struggles and triumphs of two remarkable women in a world undergoing significant change. Don't miss this powerful and inspiring portrayal of women breaking barriers and forging their paths to success.