Directors: Özgür Yildirim, Marvin Kren, Oliver Hirschbiegel

Writers: Hanno Hackfort and more

Released: February 2017 (Berlin Film Festival)

Breakdown and Analysis

  • We get to see behind the curtain to the socio aspects of the Hamadys being in a country where they are migrants. Fully integrated into a society where they are not valued, cannot work, study or build a long term livelihood.
  • The government and welfare system was not there to encourage ambition and to be grateful for menial jobs. There were not enough, albeit menial, jobs for migrants and the government were not providing opportunities to grow. There were nuances the police did not want to understand. Toni wanted to go clean but was met with hurdle after hurdle. It also isn’t right they were kept on the visa for 20+ years.
  • There is a moment between Amara and a police officer where we realise that the police don’t fucking care at all.
  • We applaud the show for holding Systems accountable and reflecting hard truths.
  • There are well meaning civil servants but they are in the same room with bigots that hide behind enforcing the law to be terrible racist people.
  • The setting informed very early the tone and what we were about to get into. People pulling themselves up by the bootstraps. Unfortunately the world is bonded by the ramifications and building of wealth through drugs. It was interesting to see the point of view from Germany.
  • No matter how great the show is, there is no reason for 20 episodes and 10 seasons worth.
  • Nice for our eyes but sad to reality, good looking people are casted in screens across the world.
  • All characters get a decent closing of their arc.
  • There is always a crime family hierarchy. If not direct family, there is only so far you can move up the ranks.
  • Kemal knew the business through and through but the baton was handed to Abbas instead. It was heartbreaking getting to the end of his arc. He seemed to have accepted his place but as an audience it was hard to see him not get all he deserved. Kemal was instrumental in all successful triumphs of the family.
  • We liken Abbas to Gustavo in Narcos and Snowfall.
  • We have become accustomed to seeing prayers, mass and other Christian rituals where it just feels like part of the backdrop. This show centres on a Muslim family and we lay accolades on the portrayal on screen. On how much we were shown of rituals as a part of what made the characters who they were. Further plaudits to having characters that challenged core values of the Muslim faith. There can be trepidation worrying that people will assume without going beyond the characters. Abbas was not kind to his wife, Amara felt she wasn’t in the marriage anymore. To have a Muslim woman be able to express her feelings and be able to explore that storyline is commendable.
  • Toni did not stop Amara when he found out about her plans because he did not want to be in the game so wouldn’t keep her in it. He didn’t indulge in the game but Abbas did.
  • There is a depth of layers and genuine conflict between all characters that makes for compelling television.
  • Toni and Abbas would talk about Beirut and how it would never really feel like home. Germany was home. There is so much multidimension to this show. They were from Beirut but they were German as well. Oti laments that race is seen before Nationality.
  • We absolutely loved how the Hamadys would alternate between speaking German and Arabic. Even behind closed doors they would speak German.
  • We bought into Toni’s ambition and followed with every triumph and pain he feels. Very few shows where we have bonded and felt so much for characters like Toni. Instant character attachment. KT draws comparison to Stringer Bell. It was interesting seeing Toni navigating this journey.
  • Abbas was already suspicious of Vince and does have an intuition and strong sense of self preservation.
  • Vince exploited the intimacy that he had with the Hamadys to stall Toni’s visa. Oti called the betrayal out very early.
  • It got to a point where we saw how tunnel visioned Kutscha was in the first season when the Turkish gang was much more brazen dropping bodies in the street, yet he only focused on the Hamadys.
  • Kalila was a solid ride or die in the early seasons. It was a soap opera amnesia storyline where she got morals about her on truths she was fine with for over 20 years. She unravelled as the series continued. Kalila’s death was a cruel lesson for Toni that he needs to make a choice.
  • Abbas is fully loyal to Toni, the worst fucking liar but we all love him. There is an aspect about him that draws you in and cannot hate him.
  • Oti didn’t think at first that Ava loved Abbas fully. But as the series continued, everything she did was for them.
  • Ava is the saddest in regards to a show cocking up a character. They touched on a lot in the series about her feeling like an outsider. It was clear she tried so hard but would never be accepted because she loved Abbas so much. KT has never been more disappointed in ruining a character. It bothers KT that Ava was the demise of the Hamady household.
  • KT will hear no excuses in not being able to write wholly resonating stories after the delicate contrast in the brotherhood of Toni and Abbas.
  • We get the indication Ibrahim has gone the lengths and is now resting on his laurels. When he had the exchange with Abbas, it was clear it would not end well. Oti shares the mark of a leader knows who they are talking to and Ibrahim fucked up in how he talked to Abbas.
  • Latif was happy with his life, his work and his family. Usually when a character is too content with their life, they are the ones to fall.

Unrelated but vital points

  • KT introduced this brilliant series in the FYR household.
  • Our first German show because Jojo Rabbit doesn’t count.
  • KT does not have a type.
  • La Casa Oti Escobar.
  • KT’s research mostly involved listening to German hip hop.
  • 100% on the coin, a KT your phrase or mine.
  • Oti is the extra Tony in Son of Zorn. We need more Son of Zorn, please.
  • Oti makes a Lunge from Monster anime reference.
  • Gethics. Gang Ethics.
  • Life advice: If you forgive someone, forgive them. No one is forcing you but if you choose to forgive them don’t bring shit up.
  • Bonds of Brothers: another Oti screenplay.
  • Staffel 3 Latif. That’s the tweet.