In the opening scene during the birthday celebrations the song "Rebel Rebel" is played by David Bowie, released in 1974 as a single from the album Diamond Dogs which was recorded at the Ludolph Studios in Nederhorst den Berg, The Netherlands. See more »
I just watched the series on netflix (until episode 4) and I am really hooked by the series. Essentially the main story is how much the former German Democratic Republic (communist East Germany) invested time, resources and talent to keep their crumbling regime alive. In order to silence any opposition, they employ this network of informants, whose main job is to accuse someone of being a subversive (even jokes about their leader was a crime), and they would arrest and probably torture any person caught trying to emigrate.
Despite so much oppression, life goes on, and we can see the contradictions of a communist life, where everyone is supposed to be from the same class, but families are ambitious, materialistic and competitive just like their compatriots in capitalist West Germany. There is a mother who's watching her daughter's life being ruined by the regime (they are giving her hormones and steroids to enhance her swimming performance), but she hopes that that sacrifice will Be worth if they get a larger apartment as a reward for her daughter success in sports.
My main criticism is that we have a few American and British characters, but they don't behave like either American or British and they speak German with their own children (normally you speak at home your mother tongue), besides anglos are notorious for being monolingual. Their flawless German is just not plausible.
The secret police from East Germany creates this ruthless program of strategic seduction, where agents infiltrate West Germany, and have manipulated affairs with American and British women who work for the military, and they discard them once they get all "intelligence" necessary. Watching that series makes you see how much communism relied on destroying people's lives in order to keep the system alive, but we don't see anybody happy in that country, nobody can have a normal life, and every neighbor and coworker might report you to the secret police, where you would be tortured despite being innocent.
It is very educational, I recommend the series.
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