‘Money Heist: The Phenomenon’: How the iconic red jumper and Dali mask became symbols of resistance

‘Money Heist: The Phenomenon’: How the iconic red jumper and Dali mask became symbols of resistance

‘Money Heist’ or ‘La Casa de Papel’ managed to carve a niche for itself in the realm of entertainment like no other non-English shows ever has, and maybe never will.

In no time, the show's beloved con men became heroes in the eyes of the viewers as much as the song ‘Bella Ciao’ came to be treated as an anthem.

In Netflix's Documentary ‘Money Heist’: The Phenomenon’, the creators of the Emmy winning series reflect on the impact their show has had on the lives of people across the globe and talk at length about its much-adored elements that earned them an iconography of their own.

Soon, ‘Money Heist’ found itself on the global map, thanks to the streaming platform Netflix, the signature look of the robbers—red jumpers and Dali masks—were on display during civil rights protests in Iraq, Lebon, France, and Chile.

As the show gained popularity, people started roaming about the lanes in their respective regions, clad in red jumpers as a symbol of resistance. 


Meanwhile, the hit song ‘Bella Ciao’ which is now imprinted in the minds of the viewers, went on to become the anthem of hundreds and thousands from varied backgrounds across different nations.

Alvaro Morte, who essays the Professor, nearly has a lump in the throat when he explains in the documentary how ‘Bella Ciao’ was a celebration of freedom for a few immigrants who we rescued on a boat before it came to be sung by many more around the world as an expression of resistance.  


The creators of the series most articulately explain in the documentary how the song became sacred to the ‘Money Heist’ family. It was “always an underlying fight against the system,” says director Jesús Colmenar. He believes the scene in which Professor and Berlin sing the song “makes the song bigger than the show itself”.

The art department on the show deliberately made everything dark so the characters in red would stand out. “The color red is associated with agitation and passion”, said one of the creators.


Besides the iconic jumper suits and Dali masks, the series’ success should also be credited to several more elements which made ‘Money Heist’ what it is today.

While Helsinki touching the dirt after hours of digging at the Royal Mint represented freedom, the female characters taking the center stage strongly propagated feminism, which was lauded by the audience and critics alike. 

All the episodes of ‘Money Heist’ Season 4 are available to stream on Netflix.


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