The Germanic cult 'Colonia Dignidad' abused children, tortured and killed prisoners in its secret compound. Now, with Chilean dictator Pinochet gone, Leo Ramírez, a young federal prosecutor, must bring its leader Paul Schaefer to justice.
Leo takes Klaus to his sister Carmen's house. He is initially unsure if he can trust Klaus, but a shared memory proves Klaus is his brother. Leo and Pamela discover that Hausmann forged Pedro's death...
Inspired by a true story, Dignity takes us to Chile just after Pinochet's regime, and a violent Germanic cult called Colonia Dignidad, set up by former Nazi soldier Paul Schaefer. Young federal prosecutor Leo Ramírez is to bring the sect's leader to justice after its decades-long history of torture, child abuse and murder. Leo is also motivated by his younger brother Pedro dying there in mysterious circumstances as a child. Schaefer paid for Leo's education in Germany to keep him quiet, but now he is ready to tear him and Colonia apart. Matters are complicated by the arrival of someone who claims to be Pedro.
A haunting thriller inspired by the real-life story of a German sect in Chile Established by former Nazi soldier Paul Schaefer in a quiet Chilean town, the mysterious, Germanic cult 'Colonia Dignidad' forged a decades-long history of torture, child abuse and murder within the walls of its vast compound, protected by General Pinochet's dictatorship. Now, with a new government in power, Chile is finally ready to end Colonia's violent legacy. Young federal prosecutor Leo Ramírez is tasked with bringing the sect's elusive leader Paul Schaefer to justice.
Project funded by the Chilean TV Council (CNTV). See more »
A not-so-political political thriller
Colonia Dignidad was a settlement of German "colonists" founded in 1961 near Parral, a town in central Chile, by former Hitler Youth member Paul Schäffer. During the Pinochet dictatorship, it served as a detention and torture center. On the other hand, the Colony "adopted" male children from the area, who, along with their own members, were abused by Schäffer. It was a German microcosm with a rigid adherence to Protestantism on the part of its members, with Schäffer as the undisputed and all-embracing spiritual leader. It had the only hospital in the area open to the surrounding population, which created a curious support and complicity of the locals with the Colony.
The series Dignidad (a German-Chilean co-production and spoken in both languages) takes place in two periods: in 1977, during the Pinochet dictatorship and in 1997. In this year a judge entrusted the prosecutor Leonardo "Leo" Ramírez (Marcel Rodríguez) with instructing the Schäffer's arrest on child abuse charges. To do this, he will have the support of detective Pamela Rodríguez (Antonia Zegers) to raid the Colony.
The plot will reveal the deep relations of the past of "Leo" with the Colony and an intricate network of complicities at the political, police and diplomatic level, still firm in 1997.
The flashbacks of 1977 are the hardest (and most accomplished) facet of the series: we see some of the characters as children living in the colony that mix of fairy tale with bucolic German songs and dances with typical horror story of the organizations closed and sectarian.
The 1997 story gives an account of the comings and goings of the prosecutor's siege of the Cologne and Schäffer, also impregnated with a personal question. The series aims to reflect an arduous process, increasingly lonely and with many obstacles. But the sequence, instead of accumulating tension, creates a feeling of repetition and a certain fatigue in the viewer. This also occurs because the plot of complicities does not end up taking flight or intensity (as it did in the much superior La Jauría). Perhaps among the most salient is the romantic tension between some of the protagonists.
Rodríguez looks a bit cold in her prosecutor Ramírez and, as always, Zegers stands out in a role similar to her detective in La Jauría.
It is curious that Schäffer (Götz Otto) and the head of the Cologne hospital, Hausmann (Devid Striesow) look exactly the same in 1977 and in 1997. Aspects related to the outcome are not entirely clear either.
In short, a political thriller about the attempt to end the impunity of Colonia Dignidad and its leader Paul Schäffer, which works better in its flashbacks than in its present, since it fails to balance the elements it displays and endow everyone with the same interest.
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