• Warning: Spoilers
    This excellent series begins in East Germany, circa 1980. The Kupfer family is made up of Stasi (State Security) employees. The father, Hans, is a senior Stasi bureaucrat. One son, Falk is a detective aspiring to rise up the ranks and the other son, Martin, is street cop. Julia Hausmann, daughter of dissident singer Dunja, works in a cosmetics shop. The two families are intertwined, sometimes in ways that seem to be a bit too coincidental, but there are very few dull moments.

    The plot is captivating in itself, but I don't want to divulge spoilers. What was equally appealing for me was the backdrop, the German Democratic Republic and lives of its citizens. The people depicted don't live deprived lives, they would easily qualify as middle class in the West, but they are surrounded by a colorless Communist society. Drab high rise apartment buildings and small box like cars dot the scenery. Some, like Stasi employees, live better than others but it is largely a "classless" society the socialists claim to venerate. The characters are all devoted to socialism although they differ on the need for conformity and repression. The ways in which repression is applied are particularly interesting. Another movie that explorers similar sentiments is "The Lives of Others."