Hulu's 'The Good Mother's Is a Crime Story That Puts Women First, but Is It True?

Jennifer Tisdale - Author

Apr. 3 2023, Published 5:30 p.m. ET

'The Good Mothers'
Source: Disney Plus

It's refreshing to finally get a Mafia series that shows women fighting back.

In The Good Mothers, we encounter "three women who were born into the deadliest and wealthiest of the Italian Mafia clans" as they "work with a courageous female prosecutor to bring it down from the inside," per the official synopsis.

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It's a compelling story about familial trauma, heartbreak, and the decision to finally end the cycle of abuse. But, is The Good Mothers based on a true story?

Here's what to know.

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Is 'The Good Mothers' based on a true story?

A Disney Plus press release confirmed that The Good Mothers — which will be available to stream on both Hulu and Disney Plus starting April 5 — is based on a true story.

The six-episode Italian drama series "follows the story of Denise, daughter of Lea Garofalo, Maria Concetta Cacciola and Giuseppina Pesce, three women who dared to defy the [Calabrian] 'Ndrangheta mafia."

This idea comes to them by way of Anna Colace, a prosecutor who has recently moved to Calabria in Italy. Instead of taking down powerful men, Colace believes that going through the women they have systematically destroyed is what will ultimately cripple the 'Ndrangheta mafia.

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Executive producer Juliette Howell told Stylist, "I was immediately drawn to these courageous, relatable and inspiring women who felt so vivid and believable, united in a desire to break the endless cycle of violence and corruption that threatened to engulf their own children’s lives as it did their own."

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The series creators worked hard to keep 'The Good Mother's authentic.

The show has already taken home a coveted Berlinale Series Award, which according to Deadline is "the first of its kind for TV at a major film festival." Members of the Berlinale Series Award jury said The Good Mothers was "meticulous in recreating an authentic and detailed world, presented by a stellar cast, with performance that made our hearts skip a beat."

They went on to say "the beautiful cinematography, production design and locations contributed to the ultra realistic feel of the show, which is only right considering it is based on true events."

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the good mothers
Source: Disney Plus

Disney Plus greenlit the series as one of its first European Originals slate, reported Screen Daily. Initially all the scripts were in English, but it soon became apparent that in order for this story to be real and feel real, it had to be shot in Italian. Producers tapped Italian American novelist Claudia Durastanti — a Calabria native— to translate the script, as she was able to use her knowledge of local customs and dialect.

What mattered most to everyone was keeping the female gaze front and center.

"There are certain tropes around Mafia films that we are all familiar with,” Howell told Screen Daily. “This was an opportunity to go into a world we think we know, and just see it from a completely different perspective.” To put it simply, "They are just looking for a better life for their children," said Howell when describing the women in The Good Mothers.

The Good Mothers will be available to stream April 5 on Disney Plus and Hulu.

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