Clara Lago and Tamar Navas star in this series that mixes drugs and luxury. Jaime Olmedo
Watch the trailer: Marbella sets the scene for new Netflix crime thriller Clans

Watch the trailer: Marbella sets the scene for new Netflix crime thriller Clans

The series is the fifth production to hit the screen in six months which shows the hidden side of the Costa del Sol

Francisco Griñán


Monday, 17 June 2024, 16:47

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If there is a fashionable setting for Spanish fiction at the moment it is Marbella. Its mix of luxury and underworld going on are a magnet for news stories, which have not gone unnoticed by film directors who have turned the famous archway leading into the town on the Costa del Sol into a destination for their scripts and cameras.

The fifth and latest production in recent months to join the phenomenon is Netflix with its new series, Clans (Clanes), a thriller which links Galician drug trafficking with the Costa del Sol and which premieres on 21 June.

Clara Lago and Tamar Novas are the main characters, in which they play a lawyer and a drug dealer from the Padín family who strike up a relationship in the middle of the biggest stash the clan is planning to bring into Spain. Based on a true story that led to Operation Nécora, the first major raid against drug networks in Galicia, the script is by Jorge Guerricaechevarría - a regular collaborator of Álex de la Iglesia - while the direction is led by Roger Gual, a veteran who made a name for himself at the Malaga Festival a couple of decades ago with Smoking Room.

The luxury of Puerto Banús is captured in the new series Clans. Netflix

Produced by Vaca Films, the plot not only plays cops and traffickers, but also handles the intrigue of the lawyer and her enigmatic arrival in Cambados, after abandoning her promising legal career in Madrid, to settle scores from the past. There is no shortage of scenes in the iconic Puerto Banús, with Porsches and other high-end cars next to luxury yachts, and the sealing of a drug deal with a handshake.

Take five

Clans joins the list of different productions that in the last six months have exploited the Marbella vein and its ability to combine elegance with corruption and crime on screen. The first series was Los Farad, which premiered on Prime Video last December with the story of a family of arms dealers fond of jet-set parties, reminiscent of the parties thrown by warlord Adnan Khashoggi on the Golden Mile. The series showed scenes from the Marbella Club jetty to Cabopino, via Las Chapas and Guadalmina.

The next was the film El Correo, the first big blockbuster of Spanish cinema in 2024, with Aron Piper playing a criminal who proclaims "the Costa del Sol is the fucking paradise" of black money in a plot set in the real estate boom and corruption of the early 21st century. The entrance arch to Marbella also becomes the logo of this film, a symbolic setting that is also used by the series that has portrayed the city's mafias the most and best, entitled Marbella (Movistar).

Premiered last April, this fiction has made fortune of the phrase that defines the locality as "the United Nations of organised crime", coinciding also with the scandal of the arrest, release and escape of the leader of the Dutch Mocro Maffia, whose dangerous members are precisely the main protagonists of this series. The paradox is that, despite its Malaga setting and the use of iconic locations such as Cabopino and San Pedro de Alcántara, this production was filmed mostly in the Canary Islands.

The only story of sex, drugs and Marbella that has more of the former than the latter and that veers from the plot line of the rest of the other productions premiered on 2 June on the Atresmedia platform, Eva and Nicole, a story of ambition and rivalry between two women. Hiba Abouk and Belén Rueda are at the centre of this plot set in the great nightclub of Marbella, which does not hide the fact that it is inspired by real life and, more specifically, by the reign of the businesswoman Olivia Valere and her legendary nightclub on the Costa del Sol's Golden Mile. It is still pending its free-to-air premiere.

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