Review

  • /refers to all seasons/

    The German Democratic Republic was a country that remained stagnant almost until its termination, even when other socialist camp dealt with winds of change in the late 1980ies. And as it turned out later, it was one of the best internally controlled and snooped country in Europe, and Stasi's traces are still visible in people's minds.

    In Weissensee, we get a comprehensive picture of an integrated East- Berlin family belonging to the elite vis-a-vis opportunities, influence and domicile, where personal love-related issues, accompanied by outside changes and access to wider information, start to crumble the relations both inside the family and with colleagues. The events are realistic and motivated, the thrill is maintained, and some hesitations I had regarding the convincingness of some characters were later explained by subsequent scenes or dialogues. There were several interesting twists I could never guess (e.g. a death of a leading character in the middle of the series), and the background and venues provide an additional mood for the "framed" life under Stasi's control and lies... The performances are at least good as well; for me, the older the characters, the more interesting they were, e.g. Dunja Hausmann and Hans Kupfer. Also, the latter showed convincingly what were the compromises/abasement the people with free mind had to do for a long period and how a pleasant idea of freedom and equality had lost its contents and form.

    Weissensee is definitely on the par with e.g. Tannbach and Deutschland '83, both in terms of performances and enthrallment. And to them who have lived under socialism, nothing is overstated. Hopefully, the viewers would understand that there is no such thing as Socialism with a human face - in spite of Hans Kupfer's intentions...

    PS Our national TV broadcast this series with the title "Love in Berlin", giving a false impression of being an insipid soap opera, and probably deterring thousands of potential viewers...