It’s kind of weird

On top of the result of today’s elections in Germany — in which a far Right party (AfD) will gain seats in the Bundestag for the first time since right after WWII — it’s disconcerting to see Richard Armitage being interviewed about a plot line for Berlin Station that concerns the rise of the far Right in Germany. (Now it’s even more important the plot line be something credible. Given last season’s plots, I’m not confident.)

So here’s a helpful screenshot even if I do not feel like laughing at present.

~ by Servetus on September 25, 2017.

37 Responses to “It’s kind of weird”

  1. The German election result is shocking but hopefully this term will prove for good that the far right has no solution to offer for anything we face…

    • I hope you’re right. I haven’t seen the US learning that lesson so far but there’s always hope, I suppose.

      • They – i.e. the AfD – will have a difficult life in parliament I think. It would seem that the Bundeszentrale fuer Politische Bildung (no idea how to translate that, it’s a federal institution that educates people on all things politics/government/democracy…) just got a whole new “reason d’être”.

        For a change, in this case the polls were indicative of today’s result. It still makes me angry with some people’s rather self-serving if not even willfull ignorance, the political games the conservatives e.g. in Bavaria played by courting the further right fringes of their party etc.. Participation wasn’t great either (75% was the last I saw). The good thing is the SPD ( equivalent to UK’s Labour) will finally stay out of the coalition – one hopes – and return to developing a (new?) profile again. And the media will also need to change it’s tune.

        Still, the AfD sound bites ( and more importantly their programme) are in my opinion so wrong, disrespectful and backwards it’s hard to stomach.

        • It might also be to close to reality to make entertaining TV?

        • We educators about Germany are very familiar with the Bundeszentrale. They supply us with a lot of useful stuff.

          I definitely think this is good for the SPD and a relief that they were able to go into opposition, i.e., now the AfD loses some possible roles that would normally go to the biggest party in opposition such as the response to the budget. I also object mildly on principle to Grand Coalitions.

          I was watching interviews with Horst Seehofer last night on ARD (Fiesling!) and Bavaria has a lot to answer for. It doesn’t look like, to me, that the Union got a whole lot out of their right turn.

          One hope: the AfD ends up being in much more disarray than is immediately obvious and that the rift after they ousted Frauke Petry grows rather than heals.

  2. A bit creepy!

  3. Their plot lines seem to be pretty on the money – except that life has actually overtaken art already. Tbh, now that the reality is really grim, I am not really sure how “entertaining” I will find such a plot line.

    • Are we thinking of different things? All we know is there’s an election and he goes undercover as a neo-Nazi.

      • Yep, that’s what I mean – I am just too frustrated right now to find that kind of plot line entertaining to watch.

        • I sympathize with your frustration. But I hope the plot is more developed than that, otherwise it will be a waste of time to watch it.

          • By the look of things DM might be the pivotal character this time ’round. So yeah, let’s hope they did that well.

            • I hope he’s got some part but i wonder what they can show that the news already hasn’t? what will make it interesting to watch and different from watching documentaries (just saw a good and v recent Panaroma one partly about the Freital group and so on)?
              Hopefully the message won’t be totally grim but i doubt they can make it more ‘interesting’ to watch given reality itself… I am not convinced that these groups can be changed or influenced from the inside and given the frequency of their violent attacks and the types hard to believe these could be prevented by an American spy?! That’s the bit that i am most puzzled by… why is this about them and actually many not more one for the internal agencies? hmm..

              • That is such a good point, Hari. Life has overtaken art, and somehow that might play against the series.
                As for why the plot line should work? Hm, maybe because we are to believe that Daniel is convincingly German enough…

                • I don’t know that that’s necessary — depending on how they write it. Until recently there were probably more US Neo-Nazis than German ones, and they always saw Germany as their ideal. A lot of the neo-Nazi literature that circulated in Germany underground was originally printed and distributed in the US. And entrapment is a frequent CIA strategy with terrorist types. I could see a convincing plot line where Daniel is masquerading as an American neo-Nazi brother. That concerns me less than the stereotypes about German neo-Nazis that I dread seeing on screen.

                  • Oh yes, you are right. I had forgotten about the backing of the US neo-Nazis. They were certainly supplying the printed material to the German neo-Nazis in the 80s and 90s. Your suggested plotline really makes sense.
                    It’ll be interesting to see how they characterise the German neo-Nazis. Hard to tell from the little glimpses in the trailers so far.

                    • It will very much depend on Thomas Kretschmann’s performance I think. He has become Hollywood’s go to ‘shady guy’/Nazi in B-movies (mostly B… he did have a part in King Kong if memory serves) bloke. He’s an okay actor, fled the GDR in the 80s

                    • Doesn’t he always play sort of brutish characters? This time ’round he seems to play a politician – or is he an enforcer for the party?

                    • The main thing i associate him with is Stalingrad, which I used to show to students. He wasn’t brutish in that. But I see he played Leopold in The Young Victoria.

                    • Oh yes, Stalingrad…

                    • I think Stalingrad was his break into the Hollywood scene. One of his early films (TV) was set in a small town near where I grew up (Goslar), he played a theology student turned charismatic satanist leading the youth astray. Not a great piece in and of itself but he did stand out. It’s going to be interesting what his accent will be like.

  4. Why not? Wo said: “One of the challenges I was interested in playing someone who finds himself in a strange land and so I was interested in the French language he speaks first.I almost chock full of playing people who have dark thoughts. I played the Red Dragon in Hannibal, the darkest character I ever played. Literally I went to Pilgrimage right after and took some of that darkness with me. I am interested in what happens to people when they choose a certain path which involves inhumane acts. I always thought to myself, how does life guide somebody to make those choices and feel those feelings. At times it is quite delicious playing a malevolent character but I’m more interested in how someone arrives at that point. I want to rewind the story of their life and see at what point they chose that path. It’s always a fascination to me”…
    Who else could assume such a role and validate his choice by personal psychic philosophical or spiritual research If the denunciation was there and there was no establishment of estale of this hatred of humanity …
    it would be less disreputable

    • I’m not sure I understand your comment. I wasn’t saying Armitage couldn’t play someone on the far Right (although he expresses discomfort with it), but rather that I’m concerned the plot line on this topic will not be credible.

      • Sorry you are right I didn’t quite understand.
        If I have understood properly, he is not a real neo-Nazi but he goes undercover as a neo-Nazi and it is weird to casting him embodying in the role of such a caracter with such a scenario. You do not think that is the most likely scenario.

        • The original post noted that it’s odd (a jarring coincidence, if you will) to see him talking about his role in a drama about the rise of the far Right in Germany on the same day that that Germany elects a Bundestag with a 14% far Right membership.

          And also that I’m not confident that Olen Steinhauer (the writer) will get this right, although because of yesterday’s events it’s more crucial that he does.

          I agree that he’s playing a CIA agent who goes undercover as a neo-Nazi. (This is the literal sense of what he says.)

          • OK They have to have some understanding of the art of subtlety, to sail on troubled water.
            It was the same problem for the 6th season of the excellent French police series: “Engrenages” which had to broach the subject of insecurity and terrorism (it is currently broadcast in september on Canal +). They seem to be performing brilliantly, keeping the priority on other topics on screen.

  5. As the biggest criticism was, Daniel was too bland or boring I am hoping for a better story line for Richard. Hector wasn’t a nice person but that role got all the attention.

    • well, my biggest problem wasn’t Daniel, it was that the plot was not believable given what I know about German politics and government.

  6. Not only weird – disconcerting – as you say in your comment.
    BS becomes a little bit too close to reality. Europe is making a swing towards the extreme right ATM. It’s frightening, and I can see why some people may not see the entertainment. However, I also believe we can take away a good discussion topic.

    • It has the potential to be a good moment, but I also think there are so many minefields to step on. You don’t want a caricature of the far Right — you want an accurate picture (both to make the plot believable, and because the issue is now actual). On the other hand, you don’t want anything about the depiction of the situation to make the far Right seem attractive or sympathetic (which, frankly, is one of the issues right now — these neo-Nazis aren’t like the caricatures we’ve all been socialized to hate). I just am not confident that Olen Steinhauer has the skill to navigate this effectively, given the stereotypical Fettnäpfchen his script stepped into last time around.

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