This 10 part multi-layered, rich and fast paced TV series follows the stories of characters in and around the Russian mafia in Berlin, especially the story of the 2 main characters Marek ...
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Boxer-turned-nurse Mark Tempel is threatened with being kicked out of the apartment where he lives with his daughter and disabled wife. The day the mafia violently threatens his family, Tempel returns to his former life as a boxer.
Alfons Zischl, mayor of Hindafing, tries to give his community a new image by building a mall for organic food. Soon enough the whole village is taking part in his corrupt games, entangling Zischl in growing debt and dubious obligations.
Marisa, a 20-year-old German girl, hates foreigners, Jews, cops, and everyone she finds guilty for the decline of her country. She provokes, drinks, fights and her next tattoo will be a ... See full summary »
Caterina Schöllack runs a dance school in Berlin in 1956. It is her goal to give her three daughters the best possible opportunity, meaning to ensure that they marry well, but until then ... See full summary »
This 10 part multi-layered, rich and fast paced TV series follows the stories of characters in and around the Russian mafia in Berlin, especially the story of the 2 main characters Marek and Jelena - one the part of a pair of cops and himself of Russian descent who is looking for the murderer of his brother, the other lured with her best friend to Germany in the promise of work but ending up as a prostitute. They both get drawn into a power struggle in the mafia, face police corruption, the drama of human trafficking and much more. The series touches on the complexity of crime syndicates and society here in the example of the metropolis of Berlin. On the individuals levels is shows the quest for happiness in life and the different choices people make. This series not only catches the attention the through the excellent and complex story telling but the high quality production and very excellent cast (think of this German series as HBO or BBC like).
It has been called the German Twin Peaks" (considering the appeal it might have on its audience) by acclaimed journalists, "Hollywood made in Germany" declared others. Maybe those comments came out of a deep longing for good productions, that have sadly been missing from local TV screens for quite some time.
But maybe all that praise comes from the simple fact, that it is – indeed – brilliant: The breadth of narration, the sheer number of speaking parts and motifs and the overall worthwhileness make it essential viewing for anyone.
In its 450 minutes it comes as a study of underworld shenanigans in Germany's capital, not shying away from showing all that scum that Travis Bickle would want to have washed away by the rain. And then at once it is a buddy flick, dealing with two upcoming cop's ambition to make the big catch. Only that one of them (Marek) wants to find the murderer of his brother, who himself was once attached to organized crime, which gives "Im Angesicht des Verbrechens" its general setting.
And the creators do so while finding a good balance between the locations, the mood and the characters involved.
But maybe the biggest strength of this series lies in finding an emotional backing by the story of Marek and Jelana (a young Russian that has been lured to Berlin in the prospect of a good job and finding her big love, only to been sold a prostitute) that encompasses the series' and its protagonists' dilemma in carrying out one's duty whilst handling your personal incentives.
I do not even try to come near to listing all story arcs and themes. Just find out yourself.
Yes, German TV is alive!
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