Max Takes U.S. on Movistar+ Special Ops Thriller ‘La Unidad – Kabul,’ Sold by Beta (EXCLUSIVE)

Germany’s Beta has licensed Spanish special ops thriller “La Unidad – Kabul,” to Max for the U.S., the third instalment in one of Movistar Plus+’s longest running franchises, “La Unidad,” whose six episodes deliver an engrossing and sometimes shocking take on the 2021 Fall of Kabul.

Seasons One and Two of “La Unidad” are already on Max. Season Three will be on platform later this summer. “La Unidad” content comes to Max through an existing licensing agreement with Beta Film.  

Beta has previously sold the thriller, spangled by action scenes and haunting in its sudden deaths, to 50 territories including France, Latin America, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Australia.  

Produced by Spanish pay TV/VOD service Movistar Plus+, with Buendía Estudios, and first aired in May 2020  in a Movistar Plus+ drive for scale, propulsive action and broader audiences, “La Unidad – Kabul” reprises the characters of spacial ops unit head Carla (Nathalie Poza, “Cathedral of the Sea”), the feisty Miriam (Marian Alvarez, “Velvet Collection”) and agent Marcos  (Argentine Michel Noher, star of “100 Días para Enamorarse”). Miriam and Marcos are dispatched to Kabul and then northern Afghanistan to talk to an arms-trafficking informant. A supposedly routine mission goes mortally awry as Kabul falls to the Taliban far quicker than everyone anticipates.

Created by Dani de la Torre and screenwriter Alberto Marini, who teamed on 2015 Venice hit “Retribution,” “La Unidad” stands apart from its drive for realism, whether the not-out-of-the-ordinary private lives of the members of a Spanish anti-terrorist special ops police unit in Season 1 or in “La Unidad – Kabul” the true-to-events take on the chaos of the Fall of Kabul, and the dramatic change that this meant for its inhabitants, most particularly women. 

The first two seasons were set largely in Europe. Shot over 10 weeks in Madrid, Almería and Pakistan, “La Unidad – Kabul” largely unspools in Afghanistan in an attempt to portray the origins of terrorism, De la Torre said when Episode 1 world premiered at March’s Malaga Film Festival. 

“It’s very important to know where problems come from in order to solve them. Likewise, it’s important to look at how the Taliban took power, how they are violating the rights of people in Afghanistan, particularly women,” De la Torre told Variety

The U.S.’ 20-year occupation allowed Western corporations to exploit Afghanistan, from pharmaceutical companies harvesting opium to mining companies taking valuable minerals, De la Torre argued. “When they are interested, they are there. When they lose interest, they leave,” he added. 

An international coalition led by the U.S. and U.K. toppled the Taliban in December 2001 to establish democracy and human rights in Afghanistan. In the travails of Houda, a woman doctor at a hospital at Kabul and her basket-playing daughter, “La Unidad – Kabul” shows how progress on women’s rights proved profoundly frail. 

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