Know How Money Heist’s red jumpsuits, Dali masks and Bella Ciao became symbols of resistance


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Money Heist is a story that goes around robbery but the outfits, colours and songs used exhibits the in-depth view of the show – resistance, opposition, camaraderie, scepticism and turmoil. Each gang member is battling their demons, but when they get into their red jumpsuits and Salvador Dalí masks, it becomes a decoration of revolution against the authority.

The thieves first donned the red jumpsuit and mask when they came together to form the heist at the Royal Mint of Spain. Two robberies and four seasons down, and the emblems continue to stand for rebellion. The group grabbed it to disguise their identity in front of the police, even making their hostages wear it making them as one in the eyes of the government.

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The colour red has lived for numerous things across history – love, passion, anger and freedom. During season one The Professor mentioned that they are not just embarking a heist at the Mint, but also a “resistance against the system”. The significance is how the colour red holds a national value in Spain, the origin of Money Heist too.

Talking about wearing the red jumpsuit, actor Jaime Lorente aka Denver expressed his experience stating that it goes beyond just work. “It’s not only the character’s skin but the idea of the gang and Money Heist.” Rodrigo de la Serna aka Palermo added, “You wear it as your own skin.” Esther Acebo, who portrays Stockholm, said, “For me, it’s the symbol of struggle and courage. But then as an actress, it is also a responsibility.”

The producers also grabbed Salvador Dalí masks deliberately. The robbers’ philosophies come up with the Spanish artist Salvador Dalí whose art opposed the capitalist society. What the group wants is an equal dispersion of wealth.

Money Heist remembered as La Casa De Papel in Spanish also encompasses the song “Bella Ciao” seamlessly into the script. The Italian uprising folk song is the musical score of the crime series. It first appears when the gang enjoys its victory over caressing the soil while digging the escape tunnel at the Mint. The second time, it takes a personal path when The Professor and Berlin are prepared to greenlight the robbery schemed originally by their father.

“Bella Ciao” tracks its origins to late 19th century Italy. It was first sung by the mondina labourers to revolt against the harsh working situations in the paddy fields. Later it was set as an anthem of anti-fascist opposition by Italian partisans against Nazi German forces during the Italian Resistance.

During a new exclusive virtual set visit, it was disclosed that showrunner Alex Pina’s take on using “Bella Ciao” in Money Heist. He said, “We were looking for an iconic sound. We always look for an identity: with the colour red, with the Dalí masks. And we needed a soundtrack that sounded like an anthem and that was associated with freedom and resistance. And suddenly, one of the scriptwriters, Javi (Javier Gómez Santander) came in with that song one day and we said: “This is it! We had been looking for songs for a month before we found ‘Bella Ciao’. And I think it was the key.”

Money Heist’s badges have become a global hit, even being used for real-life political protests.

Money Heist season 5 will be returning with the costumes and song when it premieres its first part on Netflix on September 3.

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