Is The Exchange based on a true story? Whether or whether the Netflix original series is based on actual events is a topic of conversation. Mini spoilers for the show are included.
Kuwait’s The Exchange is the first ever Netflix original from the Middle Eastern (Source: MovieWeb). Rawan Mahdi and Mona Hussain play Farida and Munira, two women navigating a world dominated by men; the show was produced and written by Nadia Ahmad, Anne Sobel, and Adam Sobel.
Set in 1987, three years before Saddam Hussein’s invasion; the show is an inspirational narrative of two women taking on the stock exchange. There is a captivating plot throughout the six episodes, and the production design is top-notch.
What Is The Exchange On Netflix About?
Two women, Rawan Mahdi’s Farida and Mona Hussain’s Munira try to prove themselves in the “cutthroat” and “corrupt” environment of the Kuwaiti Stock Exchange.
Having recently gotten a divorce, Farida has a hard time making ends meet for her kid at the beginning of the show. She’s been a stay-at-home mom for 13 years, but that isn’t stopping her from trying to get back into the profession.
Thankfully her cousin, Munira, a clerk at the Bank of Tomorrow’s Trading Division at the Kuwait Stock Exchange, offers to help her, and the two seek to make it in the male-dominated sector. In the Netflix summary, Munira is portrayed as a strong female protagonist with the necessary traits for success: independence, intelligence, and sass.
However, women face opposition from male colleagues. In the preview, we see the couple being subjected to mockery and ignoring from their coworkers.
Do We Know If The Exchange Netflix Is Based On A True Story?
Actual events inspire the show, but it’s not a straight adaptation. The featured women, Farida and Munira, are not genuine, but the circumstances did happen.
Nadia Ahmed, who helped write the show and spoke with Variety about its inspiration, said that her upbringing in Kuwait inspired the plot.
“The investment banking business was a significant phenomenon in the ’70s and ’80s in Kuwait. There was loads of money to go around and not enough people practicing money management. Investment banking and the stock market were both thriving. If you were serious about making money, that was the place to do it.
“My mom was a single mom — she was solely financially responsible for me, and she wanted the best for me. So she entered the investment banking world, and I was consistently around women who were also doing the same thing, who were shattering stereotypes of Khaleeji [people of the Arabian Peninsula] women. These women were pioneers, they were the first to enter these male-dominated spaces.”
Removing Exchange Barriers Against Women
The Exchange stands apart from other workplace dramas, such as Suits and Silicon Valley, thanks in large part to the performances of Kuwaiti actresses Rawan Mahdi (who starred in Netflix’s The Cage and What If?) and Mona Hussain (who also has a role in What If? and a part in a two-season drama called Mohammed Ali Road).
Moreover, we may observe how the stresses of the modern era have filtered down to cause friction in interpersonal relationships and domestic conflicts.
Farida’s (Hastia Bakian, in the English dub) daughter’s life turns worse when bullies at school make fun of her mother’s narrative, and Farida’s ex-husband begins using her vulnerability. But Munira still struggles to be taken seriously by her parents, who continue to treat her as if she were less capable than her four brothers, even though she is better equipped to deal with professional matters, thanks to her gender.
Relationships between the two women usually seem to flame out regarding romance on the job since the same “dog eat dog” mentality is brought home from work. The playful flirtation that initially stoked feelings of attraction gradually gives way to requests for practical assistance that only breed contempt. In addition, Farida’s divorced status discourages prospective suitors from approaching her.
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