REUNIFICATION: Netflix' first German original documentary series looks at the unsolved mystery at the heart of the country's tumultuous reunification.
Carmen Gray
Carmen Gray
Freelance film critic and regular contributor to Modern Times Review.
Published date: October 5, 2020

«Capitalism was to blame, but you can’t shoot capitalism — otherwise someone would have done it a long time ago.» Lutz Taufer, a former member of the far-left militant group the Red Army Faction, gives his two-cents worth on the 1991 murder of controversial public figure Detlev Rohwedder. The killing is still shrouded in mystery three decades on and is the subject of new Netflix Original Documentary Series A Perfect Crime, the first for Germany. Nothing inflames the public imagination with conspiracy theories as much as an unsolved assassination, and numerous figures with a stake in the case and the socio-political turmoil surrounding it offer a range of explanations of what motivated it — and who pulled the trigger.

Thrill, hope, disorientation, misery

The slickly produced, four-part show (with episodes focused on different angles on Rohwedder as, variously, a «Martyr», «Capitalist», «Occupier,» and «Victim»), plays out like a mystery thriller, setting out its clues with murky, noir-tinged re-enactment and an eye for suspense to create a kind of whodunnit of conjecture. It’s an effective approach — but even more gripping is the astutely elaborated context. How did Rohwedder come to be the most hated «Wessi,» or West German, by «Ossis» in the East? Archival news clips and other footage from the start of the ‘90s give us a view into the …

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