“Dark” – heavy fare from the land of no laughs

Scene from dark trailer. Image: netflix

From german depressive lands fresh into the living rooms of this world – the third and last season of "dark" is currently being celebrated by the public and the feuilleton

The name of the first german netflix series dark" is program. An excerpt: an elderly gentleman with a bald head and scarred face means in a little bright machine room: "paradise is the infinite darkness in which nothing happens." he received the wounds and the knowledge through time travel.

Time travel is the driving force behind the plot of the last season, which seems even more complex than the first two. In the small west german town of "winden" residents of the town disappear at intervals of 33 years – near a nuclear power plant, it is possible to travel into the past and future in a hollow in the forest. These movements in the fourth dimension involve four families who are interwoven with each other.

There are also parallel worlds, in which the same-looking people are in a different relationship, and encounters with older and younger selves, which are not always harmonious. In addition, god particles appear, dark matter, an apocalypse that is to be prevented or to take place, st. Christopher, a poodle named gretchen, schrodinger’s cat, the coarse father paradox, a secret lodge, a bus stop, a caspar david friedrich november forest, murders, murderers with a penchant for scholarly quotations, time machines in coarse and medium format, as well as in the pocket edition.

But what doesn’t exist, in any scene, in any zone, in any space and time, that is a laugh, a laugh, a laugh. "Dark" will be strictly adhered to.

Actually a film about the afterglow of the "dark matter" NS era

Thus, the characters actually know mainly negative emotions or none at all, and the speech is carried by a rough, strained seriousness. This is a bit reminiscent of late puberty: you’re not really grown up yet, but you want to be, and you play and test this maturity – and don’t you dare let anyone laugh at you. The school theater is a place where a young person can live this out, and "dark" beams the viewer into the seemingly endless performance of a high school play without a wormhole leading out of this artificial curmudgeonliness. Incidentally, the rehearsal of a school theater also appears in the series, and no, the adolescents are not practicing comedy, but with sentences like "because they were blind in eyes and heart, they were punished for their sins" they use a language like usually in the series. Often, a kind of unhappy music blares in the pauses between dialogues, to make the burden of the sentences even heavier.

Then there are scenes that are supposed to seem authentic, closer to everyday life. They appear to the viewer like exaggerated quotations of time-critical television plays, which have as their theme the relationship disturbances of the germans, the facades of the so-called "spiebburgerlichkeit": at a funeral service with people in black, a man is confronted by his wife, screaming loudly, with the fact that he has another "gef.. T and gev..T" and those present therefore look even more concerned.

Even the dialogues about the result of physical love are reproachful and not free of unintentional situational comedy:

I am pregnant.(pause) I thought you had paid attention .(pause) you are all assholes. (pause) I better drive you home.(pause)

Screwed-up family relationships, guilt-ridden characters with a dark past in a small german town that is looking for "erlosung" from the "eternal damnation" yearn – actually a film about the afterglow of the "dark matter" NS era. The 1930s and 1940s are avoided as much as possible during the time travels, but they still clearly resonate, nolens volens.

Even the fantasies of extinction against feelings and the whole of humanity, which the protagonists repeatedly rehearse, can be imagined without the german abyss "third reich" hardly imagine. In addition, the murders, which were often carried out emotionless, fell on. So jonas strangles his own mother of the same age, who had also traveled through time, after he explains to her: "you are wrong here. The pieces must be in the right place."

Confirmation of cliches

Actually the "character development" typical for US movies, but how the sympathetic teenager jonas develops into such a monster is something the author of these lines would have liked to know more about. And here, too, the parallel to cruel national socialists who remove other people from the board of life on the basis of an ideology is not far away.

For many of the foreign viewers – in the case of season 2, more than 90 percent watched outside the country of production – this confirms an image of germans that they have long internalized through decades of consuming movies and TV productions: war films, the naming of bosewichters, the accent of the villains in cartoon films for the little ones, and many other variations. Those who live abroad, where the english-language films are shown with subtitles, get much more out of it.

The british film "1917" it is worth mentioning that this is a strip with historical inconsistencies and a clear propaganda message, the purpose of which would only become clear to the viewer if great britain was currently at war with the federal republic of germany.

Most of the foreign viewers therefore need for the unconscionable murders of german perpetrators in "dark" no explanation, they already know this type of film character; whose actions are explained solely by his origin. For the "eternal damnation", the cliche about germany in film stories, there seems to be no "erlosung" to remind again of the two important terms from "dark" to remember.

The netflix series also masters fate here by spreading the image of the depressed, emotion-starved, humorless german who tinkers with dangerous machines, tends toward world domination, and lacks something of humanity. The enormous viewership makes the netflix product, whether intentionally or not, an influential national studies lesson.

The ending, which shall not be given away, is also telling in this regard. The form of the "erlosung", the film characters, the "damned" in the series, does not exactly make the viewer happy, let me tell you. Since "dark" not even thought.