Netflix’s Glitter: Is the Polish Show Inspired by a True Story?

Netflix’s ‘Glitter’ is a Polish period drama show directed by Anna Kazejak, Julia Kolberger, Marek Lechki, and Rafal Skalski. Set in 1976 Poland, it follows a few women pursuing their desires despite the patriarchal system, societal taboos, and political issues. While Helena and Pola are sex workers who want to get out of the business, Marysia is a young girl doing her graduation who wants to become rich but doesn’t want to get into sex work. These three try to accomplish their desires and live on their terms against all odds.

‘Glitter’ authentically portrays the life of a sex worker and how society perceives them. Furthermore, the various backdrops, costumes, and certain events carry an innate layer of realism, making the audience wonder whether the series is based on true events.

Netflix’s Glitter Explores Real Social Issues of the Era

‘Glitter’ is partially based on a true story. Directed by an ensemble of directors (Anna Kazejak, Julia Kolberger, Marek Lechki, and Rafal Skalski), the show is a quasi-fictional depiction of the 70s in the Polish People’s Republic before the Republic of Poland was formed. The series touches on several subjects, such as sex work, classism, societal hierarchy, LGBTQ+ relationships, and capitalism. Apart from these, a subplot also revolves around people fighting for the rights of the working class.

The different instances in the series, such as the increase in sugar price by 100% and the vandalism in Radom, point to actual historical events in Poland. In real life, former Polish Prime Minister Piotr Jaroszewicz increased the prices of essential edible items, such as sugar, butter, and meat, in the 70s. The student price surge led to workers protesting in several places, including Radom. The ministry quashed the protests and began arresting several protest workers, and a revolution began. ‘Glitter’ mentions these events in passing, and different characters emphasize them.

However, these are not the central part of the narrative, which involves Helena, Pola, and Marysia trying to accomplish their goals and dreams. Since the three protagonists are sex workers, the show follows their lives closely and explores their struggles. We see how people treat them, their place in society, and how it isn’t easy to get out of the profession once a person gets into it. In the series, sex work is a popular profession for several women, yet they don’t get the same dignity, respect, and opportunities as others.

Besides, the three protagonists go through different struggles, considering they are at different phases in their life. This is not too far from reality, as people often face diverse difficulties at various points in their journey. Helena has a deal with the secret service but wants to quit because it inevitably involves sleeping with other men. On the other hand, Pola intends to start her own business, stop sex work, and raise her son.

Lastly, Marysia wishes to make a lot of money and live luxuriously but doesn’t want to get into sex work for the same. With a pinch of drama, the series explores their journeys, their obstacles, and how they overcome them. To reiterate, ‘Glitter’ is partially based on a true story where the overall narrative is fictional with the backdrop of actual historical events.

Read More: Where is Netflix’s Glitter Filmed?