In the new “Tatort: Schattenleben” Thorsten Falke and Julia Grosz investigate on their own in the left scene. Is it worth turning on?
A missing friend, old feelings and a detective going astray: In the new “Tatort: Schattenleben” (June 12, 8:15 p.m., the first), Thorsten Falke (Wotan Wilke Möhring, 55) and Julia Grosz (Franziska Weisz, 42 ) on your own. An LKA police officer and an old friend of Grosz’s has disappeared. The inspector can’t help it and goes looking for her – without an official order. Grosz has to face her past, dives into radical structures – and threatens to sink into them. What started as a normal operation develops into an emotional carousel ride that makes Grosz doubt more than once.
That’s what “Tatort: Schattenleben” is about
Julia Grosz’ girlfriend Ela Erol (Elisabeth Hofmann) has infiltrated Hamburg’s left-wing autonomous scene as an undercover investigator for the LKA. But when she suddenly disappears without a trace, the inspector becomes very concerned. Grosz is looking for her. Under a false identity, the policewoman enters the hedonistic, liberal milieu in which Ela seems to have lost herself.
Thorsten Falke supports Grosz in her search, but at the same time investigates an arson attack. This seems to fit into a series of politically motivated acts of violence. But both Falke and Grosz reach their limits in this case. While the worlds are slowly blurring for the inspector and Falke comes across strange internal police information, the two stumble. The duo must work together to find those responsible for the arson attack and uncover Ela’s disappearance.
Is it worth turning on?
Definitive. In this “crime scene” women’s power is announced. It is the first case in the Grosz-Falke series that focuses on the commissioner. New pages will appear as well. She shows herself emotionally, takes off her protective armor and presents facets that viewers have only guessed at up to now. But not only that: The policewoman crosses more than one border – which was actually Falke’s specialty up to now. You also learn something about Grosz’ past love life.
But it’s not just the cast that’s more female and diverse than usual in this thriller. Some women have also taken the helm behind the scenes. Producer Sophia Ayissi Nsegue (31), camerawoman Zamarin Wahadat (33), director Mia Spengler (36) and screenwriter Lena Fakler (32) shape the story. The diversity is no coincidence either: director Spengler asked the broadcaster for the “Inclusion Rider”. It is a contractual clause that requires certain groups to have a certain percentage of a production. These include women, people of color and people from the LGBTQ community. The NDR is thus the first public broadcaster to have used this clause.
This also meant that a younger team was involved in this “crime scene”. “It has a positive effect on the mood when you have people with you who don’t already have 100 ‘crime scenes’ under their belt,” says Franziska Weisz in an interview with the broadcaster. The young team is also noticeable in the plot itself. The story takes place in the left scene – more precisely, in a queer, radical feminist housing project. The focus is increasingly placed on the emotional moments and interpersonal aspects. On the other hand, structural problems within the police force are addressed.
The true core of the film is also interesting: a policewoman who is investigating undercover in the radical left-wing scene. Years ago, investigators who were smuggled into the autonomous center “Rote Flora” were busted in Hamburg. Some of them are also said to have entered into romantic relationships with activists. These circumstances were later criticized, but there was never a procedure. “Because of these gaps, it was clear to us from the start that we didn’t want to retell the cases of the Red Flora,” explains author Fakler. Another reason why the story is so credible is certainly Rafael Behr (64). The Hamburg professor of police science supported the production as a technical advisor.
The case remains exciting until the end and the resolution should surprise one or the other. The only downside: Inspector Thorsten Falke only gets a little airtime in “Schattenleben”. But fans can be sure that the popular investigator will be more present in the next case. It’s also refreshing to let the woman take the helm in this investigative duo.