When I first started watching my Telenovela, La Esclava Blanca, the first thing I noticed was just how heavy this telenovela is. Though I assumed the topic would be complex and thought-provoking, it has been something I've struggled with; it is hard to sit and "binge watch" because it is heavy and emotionally exhausting.
However, I have truly enjoyed the telenovela because of how unique the story is. Not only do I love that it is an "epoca" telenovela(history remade is always fascinating to me), but I love that it strays from the typical representation of gender, race, and class. It also speaks to how all these characteristics interact and, in the cases of oppression, how the theory of intersectionality relates to these characters and their situations.
Though telenovelas are not known to be "politically correct" when it comes to race issues, this telenovela takes racism expressed in one of its most obvious forms and criticizes the establishment. Because of its touchy subject, there have been other criticisms of the telenovela itself. I have not finished the telenovela yet, but I fear one major criticism I'm going to have is that Victoria, the white woman who was rescued as a baby from the fire that killed her parents and was then raised by slaves, will be the "white savior."
I was so excited when, in the first episode, Tomas had bought his own freedom and had plans to also save his family, but I knew things had to go awry and that, for some reason, he would not be set free on his own accord. Though it would be awesome to see Victoria grow up and fight battles for the abolition of slavery, I will be a little disappointed if Tomas and his family are freed from slavery at the hands of Victoria.
I do appreciate that Tomas and his family are more than just slaves and have unique personalities, strengths, and ideas and that the typically innocent white wives of the slave owners are portrayed as more guilty and involved in the slave-owning. Though this is a more "negative" representation of women, it is a more complex than other representations of women.