The Malta Independent 4 August 2020, Tuesday

Films, TV series and books with storylines similar to ongoing political situation

Giulia Magri Sunday, 15 December 2019, 11:00 Last update: about 9 months ago

For many, Christmas is a time to catch up on TV series, films or books. Yet, this Christmas will be a bit different for many, since the country has been hugely affected, since 20 November, by the new developments in the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, the political fallout and the almost daily protests. Whilst Christmas this year might have a less festive flair, this should not stop individuals from curling up to a good book or series. Giulia Magri spoke to book-lover Robert Pisani to help us compile a list of what people should be reading or watching while the drama unfolds.

House of Cards

First on our list is this American political television series which is an adaptation of the 1990 BBC miniseries of the same title and based on the novel by Michael Dobbs. Hollywood loves politics, drama and corruption, and ‘House of Cards’ ticks all the boxes. The show portrays power hungry politicians and the affects their cynicism, manipulation and ruthlessness has on the public. Sounds familiar doesn’t it?




‘Scandal’ is another American political thriller television series, which takes place at the White House and revolves around Olivia Pope, a former media consultant to the President of the United States who can make any problem go away before anyone even knows it exists. Olivia forms her own crisis management firm, which deals with intriguing new problems before they become full-blown disasters, but slowly she realises that her own employees might be hiding darker secrets.


The Untouchables

A classic American gangster film featuring Kevin Costner, Charles Martin Smith, Sean Connery and Robert De Niro. The movie follows Eliot Ness (Costner) as he forms the Untouchables team to bring crime kingpin gangster Al Capone (De Niro) to justice during the Prohibition. The Untouchables is a must see masterpiece, depicting the larger-than-life mob warlord who ruled Prohibition-era Chicago; showing us that such ‘god-like’ characters are seen throughout history.


Animal Farm & 1984: Classic Orwell

The first two novels which Robert mentioned were ‘Animal Farm’ and ‘1984’, two political fables which remain as relevant as ever. “The former recreates the events of the Russian Revolution and the latter is a country run by people who distort the truth and a political party ‘re-educate’ revolutionary ideas.”

In a world where we find ourselves under constant surveillance through media, we realise that what Orwell wrote in the 1940’s is similar to real life.


Autumn, Winter and Spring (Three volumes of Ali Smith’s Season Quartet)

“The first three volumes of Ali Smith’s Season Quartet (Summer, the final volume to be published in 2020) is one of the best political satires ever written. The setting is 21st century Britain; a lot of events detailed can be applied to any country.”

Robert explains that each book focuses on a character that has a battle against the political climate, and the three books are interlinked but can be read separately.


What a Carve Up! - Jonathan Coe

“A text EVERYBODY should read, especially in these times,” says Robert. The novel is about a high class family who have influence on every aspect of society, be it in the media or the farming industry. “It is needless to say that this family causes a lot of damage just so that their needs are satisfied,” Robert comments.


Kapitali- Wayne Flask

‘Kapitali’, a novel which mirrors real events in Malta, and which is centered around two Maltese characters and the strange shady island Malta has become. Political satire at its best, although a work of fiction, the book makes reference to a number of real-life public figures and scandals.



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