Stephanie Fairyngton – Dec 5, 2018
The series based on the bestselling book by Elena Ferrante shows how to triumph over the harshest obstacles.
The new HBO series, My Brilliant Friend, based on the first of four Neapolitan novels — all international bestsellers — by Italian literary sensation Elena Ferrante tells the story of two intellectually gifted girls, Elena (Lenú) and Lila, growing up in a gritty piazza in post-World War II Naples. In their rough neighborhood, basic resources are scarce, fists solve conflicts, men violently dominate women, and small children labor to help keep their families afloat.
Lenú and Lila, with their insatiable appetites for knowledge and ability to imagine a better future, shine the brightest in their drab environs. While others in their town, beaten down and impoverished, can’t see beyond the borders of their walled-in reality, Lenú (cautious, reserved, steady, intelligent) and Lila (ferocious, wild, severe, brilliant) dare to think bigger. As young girls, they ditch their curfews and venture to the sea — a symbol of change, adventure, mystery, and power — and a sight Lila has never seen, despite living in such close proximity. While Lila instigates their exploit, she chickens out midway amid Lenú’s protests to continue, foreshadowing the larger life Lenú will go on to live.
The story of Lila and Lenú’s fiery friendship — a tempestuous romance of sorts — offers fundamental lessons on how to endure despite the grossest forms of social injustice and daily struggle.