Director: Edward Berger, Samira Radsi, Arne Feldhusen
Screenplay: Anna Winger, Joerg Winger
Starring: Jonas Nay, Maria Schrader, Ulrich Noethen, Sylvester Groth, Sonja Gerhardt, Ludwig Trepte, Alexander Beyer, Lisa Tomaschewsky, Florence Kasumba, Chris Veres
Country: USA, Germany
Running Time: 450 min / 810 min
BBFC Certificate: 15
Deutschland ’83 premiered in 2015 followed this year by Deutschland ’86 and it’s obvious why it’s back…Deutschland is immediately enthralling and impossible to put down.
Deutschland ’83 stars Martin Rauch (Jonas Nay) an East German undercover in West Germany working for the foreign intelligence agency of the Stasi in this German-American TV series. The second series Deutschland 86 is set 3 years after the initial series and there’s a third season in the pipeline, Deutschland 89 set at the time of the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Deutschland ’83 set amid world-wide unrest, huge political changes and cultural differences, is a fascinating view of actual world events. Entangled in the world altering moments that were taking place in 1980’s Germany we see Martin Rauch caught in a web of intrigue during the cold war. Whilst playing to a backdrop of 80’s pop classics, including David Bowie, New Order and of course Nena’s 99 Luftballons.
Filming for Deutschland ‘86 started in Cape Town in 2017, with many of the original cast returning, plus a few new faces in this impressive ten-part saga. The story continues to follow an unstable period in 1980’s East Germany, with a plot that can be tricky to follow, if you don’t concentrate. Martin is in East Germany in 1986 during a dysfunctional time of upheaval when Europe is besieged by terrorists, across the world an AIDS epidemic explodes, Perestroika rears its head and slap bang in the middle aparteid rages. After misbehaving in 1983 Martin is at a loose end until Aunt Lenora (Maria Schrader) involves him in her money making idea. Their plan takes them through Africa, Western Europe and East Germany in a bid to see if Capitalism and Communism can work together. Martin’s government want him to sell West German weapons to South Africa, a plan which is further complicated by aparteid and South Africa’s allegiances East Germany’s enemies.
Deutschland ’86 and the box set of both Deutschland ’83 and ’86 are released on the 13th May 2019. Deutschland ‘86 arrives on DVD alongside the Deutschland ‘83 and ‘86 box set which will be available digitally to download and keep from iTunes, Amazon Prime Video and Google Play courtesy of Acorn Media International. I reviewed the DVDs for both Deutschland ’83 and ’86, I found both to be of high picture and sound quality. The running time of Deutschland ’86 is 450 mins (10 x 45 mins) and Deutschland box set is 810 mins (18 x 45 mins), so plenty to keep you busy.
This series is strikingly different from anything else around at the moment and once the initial surprise of the stylised imagery is appreciated, you will find yourself immersed in a world of espionage which will leave you intrigued and wanting more. Deutschland ’83 and ’86 compliment each other perfectly in this intelligent fast paced cold war romp, which you’ll need to keep watching to the end and will leave you wanted to reach for the history books.