Netflix’s The Snow Girl: Is the TV Show Inspired by a True Story?

Image Credit: Niete/Netflix

Originally titled ‘La Chica de Nieve,’ Netflix’s Spanish series ‘The Snow Girl’ revolves around the disappearance of Amaya Martín, the daughter of Ana and Álvaro. After her disappearance, the parents do not get any ransom demands, puzzling Belén Millán, the police officer who investigates the case. Meanwhile, Miren Rojo, an intern at the regional newspaper Diario Sur, sets out to find out the kidnappers on her own. The intricate disappearing case further gets complicated when the kidnappers send a videotape of Amaya to Miren, instructing the reporter to share the same with the missing girl’s parents. Intrigued by the realistic portrayal of Amaya’s heart-rending disappearance, we have set out to find out whether the thriller series is based on a real-life kidnapping case.

The Snow Girl: An Adaptation of Javier Castillo’s Novel

‘The Snow Girl’ is an adaptation of Spanish thriller novelist Javier Castillo’s eponymous novel. Although Amaya and her kidnapping are fictional, the author was inspired by a particular real-life occurrence to write the novel. The genesis point of Castillo’s book can be traced back to a particular day he was walking down a street with his wife and then three-year-old daughter. When he let go of his daughter’s hand for a while, the author was filled with fears of something “horrible” happening to her. He was alarmed about the possibility of never seeing his daughter again, which led him to write a novel about a young girl’s disappearance, leaving the parents without any assurance of seeing her again.

Image Credit: Niete/Netflix

In an interview given in 2020, Castillo detailed how his fear of pedophilia and separation from his daughter moved him to write ‘La Chica de Nieve.’ In the book, Castillo explored the lives of Ana and Álvaro after Amaya’s disappearance to portray the conflicts and fears every father and mother have in their minds when it comes to the safety of their children. Although the narrative of the novel is fictitious, through this exploration of Ana and Álvaro’s mental space, the author succeeds in rooting his novel in reality. Amaya’s parents are not very different from the parents of any real-life missing child.

Castillo’s fear of pedophilia also became the foundation of a significant storyline in the book and series. While investigating Amaya’s disappearance, Miren comes across James Foster and David Luque, who are involved in the operation of a child pornographic website named Slide. Millán’s investigation also leads her to the rapes committed by David and his son Samuel, which were taped for uploading on the aforementioned website. It doesn’t take long for Merin to realize that her rapists recorded her and uploaded the video to the website as well. Through this particular storyline, Castillo succeeded in addressing how child pornography and pedophilia are still pivotal concerns of contemporary society.

Image Credit: Niete/Netflix

As far as Castillo is concerned, ‘La Chica de Nieve’ is also a commentary on modern-day journalism, which prioritizes sensationalism over ethics and commitment to society. While Miren tries to find Amaya as a responsible and committed journalist, her superior only tries to take advantage of her connections with the case to sensitize the information she garners for the commercial good of the newspaper. The author also wanted to emphasize the significance of “local journalism” through Merin’s efforts to find Amaya, especially when the latter is just one of the hundreds or thousands of missing children for a national journalist to deeply care about.

Although ‘The Snow Girl’ is a fictional series, the storylines of the series commendably reflect contemporary reality. Directors David Ulloa and Laura Alvea use Castillo’s novel as a foundation for a brutally honest social commentary, rooted in the harsh realities of our times.

Read More: Where is Netflix’s The Snow Girl Filmed?