Death turns us all into angels

line "Polizeiruf 110 - Death makes angels out of us all"

Rainer Tittelbach
Underpaid cops, red light district, transgender everyday life - that is Munich too. In this milieu, the blue-blooded Prussian Hanns von Meuffels has to investigate his own colleagues. The fifth “Polizeiruf 110” with Matthias Brandt is again a very special film. “Death makes angels out of us all” is a difficult investigative thriller, a fast-paced, realistic drama, a powerful police film and a city portrait that is devoted to the sediment of Munich society. The city pulsates, the traffic is noisy, everyday life is annoying, the noble hero curses more violently than Schimanski and yet there is hope for a person.

Photo: BR / Kerstin Stelter

Transgender milieu. Von Meuffels (Brandt) finds himself in a strange, strange world ...

That is Munich too. Underpaid cops who feel like the trash cans of society. A red-light district in which every customer request mercilessly pushes for fulfillment. Abysses open up in the cosmopolitan city with a heart. A panorama of cruelty and loneliness. In this milieu, the blue-blooded Prussian Hanns von Meuffels has to investigate his own colleagues. A young transsexual died in the sobering cell of the notorious Police Inspection 25. Heart failure after drug use? Or disregard of the duty of supervision? Or is there more that the five colleagues on duty have owed? After all, the dead woman was tied up in a bondage manner. Reluctantly, the criminal investigator starts the internal investigation. The policemen put up the wall, they just repeat the apparently agreed formulations that they had already given for the record. Von Meuffels is increasingly annoyed. He wants to find out the truth. But how is that supposed to work? The dead person has already been cremated, the surveillance camera is defective, a cell phone video has been deleted and those who want to unpack choose another way of liberation. The inspector finds himself in a conflict: He knows about the worries and needs of the officials, their daily struggle, but he can also empathize very well with the dead man's companion, the transsexual table dancer Almandine.

Photo: BR / Kerstin Stelter

Initially hurt and unforgiving: the transsexual Almandine (Lars Eidinger)

The fifth “Polizeiruf 110” with Matthias Brandt is again a very special film. “Death makes angels out of us all” is a difficult investigative thriller, a fast-paced, realistic drama, a powerful police film and a city portrait that is devoted to the sediment of Munich society. The self-esteem of the existentially desperate patrolmen is similar in the basement to that of the transgender dancer, who lacks the necessary money to become a "real" woman and is not constantly exposed to external hostility. The detective shows a great deal of sympathy for the Almandine, who was initially extremely desperate, of all people, the distanced von Meuffels, who occasionally investigates as if the case was none of his business and would prefer to stay out of it all. “To tell this character lovingly and comprehensibly, and to bring it closer to the audience, despite all the things that it does and has to do, that was the special task of this film,” emphasizes the producer Jakob Claussen. At the same time, the proximity of the victim and the investigator succeeds in striking the increasingly sensitive strings of the introverted, not always - according to the rules of common sense - "plausible" acting commissioner. It is not for nothing that Brandt describes his von Meuffels as someone who acts on the verge of autism, but who is also “open to other people and works with all of the senses”.

Photo: BR / Kerstin Stelter

Reconstruction of the fateful night. Von Meuffels doesn't believe his colleagues. Mathias Kupczyk, Murathan Muslu, Brandt, Hans-Jochen Wagner, Lacher

The narrative style laid out in Günter Schütter's script impresses with its straightforward distribution of information. She dispenses with dramaturgical turning. After a few minutes, the viewer knows what's going on, quickly finds his way around the staff and the story in order to penetrate the more essential, the emotional narrative layers. The characters are not stapled in one place on the good-bad rating scale for more than 90 minutes, neither is a "perpetrator" established who brings the moral balance of this Sunday thriller back into place in a viewer-friendly way, nor can the inspector be satisfied in the end beat. There always seems to be a truth behind the truth shown. Brief excursions into the private life of the frustrated police officers, which are woven into the plot as if by chance, do not seem like psychological explanations. But they show that the humiliations at work are not the only ones.

Photo: BR / Kerstin Stelter

The policemen get into real existential difficulties. What if suddenly the job is gone?

Editor Cornelia Ackers about the game:
“What was special was the variety of experiments in the acting, the approach to the individual scenes. There were wildest attempts and very quiet moments in the range from very calm to very exalted. "

As abstract and exaggerated as Matthias Brandt's superintendent figure and as emotionally stylized as Lars Eidinger's transsexual may be - “realism” is the identification mark of this film. Many scenes have an almost documentary feel to them. The camera deliberately does not always take the ideal perspective (to the main characters). Director Jan Bonny seems to have a soft spot for “pre-film reality”, but the actors are also of particular interest. This was already evident in his physically strong marriage drama “Gegenüber”, in which Matthias Brandt played a policeman who lets his wife beat him green and blue. Because of the two main characters, who act like a dream, despite the hardness of the material, the often brittle imagery and the rough montage, the film has the aura of "poetic realism", which is also reflected in the title "Death makes angels out of us all" . The city pulsates, the traffic is noisy, everyday life is annoying, von Meuffels curses and scolds more violently than Schimanski (“Shit, shit, shit!”) And yet there is hope for a person here - and a smile. (Text as of July 4, 2013)

Photo: BR / Kerstin Stelter

Farewell. With von Meuffels, emotions suddenly come from deep inside.

Rainer Tittelbach works as a TV critic & media journalist. He was a Grimme juror for 25 years, is an FSF examiner and has been operating since 2009 tittelbach.tv. More


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"Polizeiruf 110 - Death makes angels out of us all"
BR / series / crime thriller
EA: July 14, 2013, 8.15 p.m. (ARD)
With Matthias Brandt, Anna Maria Sturm, Lars Eidinger, Hans-Jochen Wagner, Shenja Lacher, Anne Müller, Murathan Muslu and Mathias Kupczyk
Script: Günter Schütter
Director: Jan Bonny
Camera: Nikolai von Graevenitz
Production design: Christine Caspari
Editing: Dirk Göhler
Production company: Claussen + Wöbke + Putz
Quota: 6.64 million viewers (21.7% MA)


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