Is Amazon Prime's 'Los Farad' Based on a True Story?

Los Farad Casablanc Leo Farad Susana Abaitua Sara Farad Miguel Herrรกn Oskar Amazon Prime Video

Is “Los Farad” based on a true story? The short answer is “no.” The Farads, the wealthy family at the fore of the series, are fictional characters living amid real events. Co-created by Alejandro Amรฉnabar and Alejandro Hernรกndez, the latter explained how his life inspired what the series is about, telling Variety:

“I fought in Angola’s Civil War, starting in November 1988, returning in 1990 just as the Berlin Wall fell. I was 18, 19. These things mark you. I had always dreamt of saying something about one of these Cold War conflicts.”

And wow, he has a lot to say! The Amazon Prime series is filled with biting commentary on world events. As a cynic, “Los Farad” resonates as sharing one of history’s brutal truths. Nothing has changed on the world stage except the actors in the spotlight. The timeframe “Los Farad” covers is a central figure in the story. Dare I say a character in and of itself. 

Similarly, to “Narcos,” Oskar narrates to give us personal and geo-political insight into what transpires. And while a lot of shows have discussed the human and drug trade’s inner workings, “Los Farad” is one of the few (aside from “Lord of War”) to dive into that *other* deadly business. Explaining how they chose it, series director Mariano Barroso told Variety:

“On one hand, arms trafficking had hardly featured in Spanish fiction, especially with the element of its being totally legal. Then there was the world of Marbella, and I’ve always wanted to make a family saga.”

This quote is nice to read as someone with a soft spot for any drama rooted in family dynamics. After all, when we break it down, that is what everyone has in common. We have a biological mother and father. What happens with that relationship is each individual’s unique companion story. 

Whether it is Beth Dutton on “Yellowstone” or Cersei Lannister on “Game of Thrones” – family is a core element of their story. Their role in their respective families is their driving force. In “Los Farad,” Sara robustly represents that.

Oskar is the viewers’ vein into the surreal story that Sara is much more accustomed to navigating. If you watch your fair share of documentaries, you realize how big some people live their lives. Massive highs, lows, and stranger-than-fiction twists punctuate their lives. 

While watching “Los Farad,” I repeatedly asked myself if the Farad family was real. Instead of Googling for the answer, I waited until finishing Season 1 to find out. The stakes felt even higher that way. The story had already been written and produced, and not knowing if “Los Farad” was a true story made it feel more vivid.

To the team behind the series’ credit, Season 1 feels plausible. “Los Farad” is a captivating rollercoaster ride that never coasts. It begins with an ending – Oskar wading into a pool with a shell-shocked expression and a “Magnum P.I.” era mustache. Miguel Herrรกn’s arresting countenance as he enters the water really hooks you.

If I recall correctly, “Los Farad” only shows the beginning/ending scene once. And yet, it hangs over Season 1 like a looming cloud. What does it mean? How will all of this end? Without a true story to constrain its conclusions, “Los Farad” can give itself lots of leeway. 

To its credit, how well-written the narration is that seals every moment with authenticity and a dread of what is to come. Did this happen in real life? Season 1’s ending also allows viewers to imagine what would occur in a potential Season 2 without making one essential. If “Los Farad” was a true story, it seems doubtful it would end with any hope.

To Recap: “Los Farad” is not based on a true story in the sense that the characters/families that are portrayed exist/existed. The geo-political atmosphere that the Farads maneuver is based on reality. 

FYI: If you struggle to read subtitles due to vertigo or reading fatigue, “Los Farad” is excellently dubbed in English. The voice actors have come a *long* way in the past few years.