… not just any series about Lola Flores that had been a long time coming, but and a non-fiction documentary series, as La Faraona’s life and persona surpassed fiction itself.

This October 28, Movistar+ premieres ‘Lola’, in association with 100 Balas (The Mediapro Studio) directed by Israel del Santo and featuring her two living daughters, Lolita and Rosario and sister Carmen Flores, in addition to over 40 interviews with artists including Rosalía, Mala Rodríguez, C. Tangana, María José Llergo, Nathy Peluso, Alaska, and Valeria Vegas.

An undertaking that not only narrates the story of the artist, but also the story of the Spanish people. Because the more in-depth we go into the figure of Lola Flores, the more you begin to understand that we wouldn’t be who we are today without her; everyday expressions and sayings we believed to be ours, from our time, and our setting, were actually the harvest of that Jerez-born earthquake who knew exactly where she was headed.

This documentary series settles an outstanding debt to Lola Flores. In fact, anything that keeps her persona “alive” is, because dusting off old interviews and again listening to her could almost be classed as public service, together with rescuing those performances in which, as one critic later said, “She can’t sing, she can’t dance –don’t miss her!”.

‘Lola’ is for those of us who had the pleasure of sharing time with her, and for those who unfortunately missed the opportunity. She’s one of those individuals we would all do well to cross paths with, at least once in a lifetime, and if the encounter comes in the form of a documentary series, then so be it and amen to that!

“I have more art than anyone, and I’m going to prove it to you”

This was only one of the hundreds of legendary quotes from Lola Flores that would leave listeners speechless. She was never one to allow anyone to doubt her worth, whatever it took, Lola was going to become the female Pharaoh and so the documentary begins, with the discovery of her talent when she was only a child.

Of course, for someone to become an icon, they cannot do it alone and the series provides us with a profile of the artist’s parents, of the creators and those responsible for a young low-class gypsy woman destroying every pre-conceived idea and prejudice in her path so that she could firstly become a prophet in her own land, to later have the entire world at her feet.

Her family, mentors, love affairs, friendships and the choices she made feature in one way or another in the documentary to disprove the rumors about her life which abounded, and in some cases, even inflates them. Deep down, the anecdotes we hadn’t heard before or had forgotten are just the tip of the iceberg, because Lola was the iceberg.

All of these are secondary characters in a story in which the protagonist overshadows anyone who comes into contact with her. It wasn’t her beauty, her voice, or talents as a dancer that dazzled the masses, but rather an overwhelming personality capable of elevating all these other virtues to the status of stardom, just like she did with any other artist who entered her circle. Even today her daughters shine, partly with her light, but no one greater than her. Lola had already warned us that she had more art than anyone else and the documentary makes this patent.

An exercise in documentation to help us understand her story and our own

The four episodes features interviews with friends, family and artists she inspired, in addition to historians and researchers. But if there’s one thing that rounds everything off, then it has to be those unforgettable moments starring La Faraona both in her films as well as in interviews she gave.

Lola Flores.

Thanks to the participation of her family, the footage in the docuseries featuring Lola herself discussing varying events in her life, make it one of the best biopics about her out there.

A collection of archive footage seen from the perspective of time, which puts everyone in their place, but not always, sometimes it can displace those who most deserve the position. A feeling you might be left with after seeing la Faraona in action once again.

At a time when role models are scarce

You see, Lola Flores was much more than a folkloric figure with an easy to remember name, as many would nutshell her today. Lola opened the doors so that artists like Rosalía can exist today, together with many other artists before her whose desire was to demonstrate their talent to the world unapologetically, in fact the exact opposite and who can now end up with a firm, “You’re welcome.”

This docuseries comes at a time when role models are few and far between, especially female role models and it’s always important to cherish the pioneers. A recent Cruzcampo beer ad featuring Flores – “with a strong accent” – is another fine example of how La Faraona is still capable of revolutionizing viewers.

Rosario Flores.

As such, this is the exact reason why it’s so necessary to hear her now, to see her now again, to get a tattoo of that woman who never feigned humility. The woman who knew the life mission she was there to fulfil and didn’t let anyone get it her way doing it. A woman with an undeniable gift she yearned to exploit, at the service of culture. There were no barriers for her, no social burdens to belittle her. No taboos in interviews, no mindless regrets.

This docuseries is one not to be missed and after finishing it, you’ll come out the other side with the feeling that indeed, the world is your oyster, just as it was for Lola Flores.

Paula Hergar
Paula Hergar is a 360 journalist as Paquita Salas would say, writes about TV in Vertele and presents, writes, and directs Zapping on LOS40. In addition to collaborating in cultural programs in La 2 and being the author of the book ‘Around the world in 80 series’.