Ten Episode Women-Driven Series Based on a Script by Carice van Houten
(Game of Thrones) and Halina Reijn (Instinct)
The award-winning ten part Belgian/Dutch co-production, Red Light will air on Amazon Prime beginning March 22, 2022. It is one of the several ambitious series distributed by Paris-based Federation Entertainment, alongside the thrillers Amsterdam Vice, The Bureau, Bad Banks and Around the World in 80 Days.
Red Light is the latest production from Carice van Houten’s (Game of Thrones) and Halina Reijn’s (Instinct) production company Man Up along with Eyeworks and Hollands Licht.
The pair co-stars alongside Maaike Neuville, as three women whose lives are shaped by their involvement in the world of prostitution and sex trafficking when Esther’s husband—a philosophy professor–disappears. Sylvia, a prostitute, runs a brothel with her shady boyfriend/pimp. Esther is a well-known opera singer who comes from a wealthy environment. Evi is a policewoman trying to combine working a major case with being a mother. These three women with completely different backgrounds soon find out they need one another in the difficult situations they’re trapped in, as they battle their own personal demons and society’s expectations.
Variety spoke to stars and co-creators Halina Reijn and Carice van Houten, and writer Esther Gerritsen about the series:
“Seven years ago after intense careers as actresses, we wanted to create our own female-driven drama that would bring to light subjects that normally stay hidden: Sex, power, control, addiction and female rage. The red light district in Amsterdam used to be seen as a symbol of progression, feminism and freedom in the Sixties and Seventies, but which of course is a very complex biotope [habitat] where human trafficking and free-will are hard to distinguish. Is it better to legalize it so you can have more control over what happens to these women or is it better to be strict and prohibit it completely? We thought human trafficking and prostitution would be a suitable arena to discuss female identity, power, sexuality, patriarchy and gender roles in all its complexity.” READ MORE
Cineuropa spoke with Carice van Houten:
“We knew all along that it wasn’t about the red-light district, but we wanted to use it to tell a story about women and question subjects that are often shrouded in shame. I have been obsessed with the red-light district since my childhood. It was often seen as a symbol of progression, the idea of the Happy Hooker, but then again, my parents were hippies. Later, I learned from my uncle, who is a public prosecutor, about the human-trafficking aspect. It is all so absurd. It’s like visiting a theme park: there are families strolling through the district. And it’s not as if those women are all nymphomaniacs, but it’s also not as if they’re all forced to be there. It’s a grey and ambiguous world that’s not as clear-cut as a Disney fairy tale. I started to think about my own relationship with men, money and power, and all those experiences found their way into the series.”READ MORE
Canneseries Prize Winner
Belgium, The Netherlands
2019 – 2020
Season 1 – 10×47′
In Dutch, Flemish & English with English & French subtitles
Written by Esther Gerritsen, Christophe Dirickx, Frank Ketelaar, Halina Reijn
Directed by Wouter Bouvijn, Anke Blondé
Photography by Wim Vanswijgenhoven
Editingby Annelien van Wijnbergen
Music by David Martijn, Jeroen Swinnen
Cast: Carice van Houten, Maaike Neuville, Halina Reijn, Geert Van Rampelberg, Jacob Derwig, Koen De Bouw, Robert de Hoog, Joren Seldeslachts, Tom Jansen, Majd Mardo, Bilal Wahib
Produced by Eyeworks, Hollands Licht, Manup