Sunday, February 18, 2018

Multicultural Television



It’s great to see foreign language dramas getting an airing via Netflix and iTunes.  Different countries have their own special blends of pacing, storytelling, filming and directing – just as they have different styles, values and cultures.

Six foreign language series I’ve been enjoying (all with English subtitles of course) are:

FAUDA
An Israeli production set in the Palestinian Territories, Fauda (Chaos in Arabic).  Complex, contemporary, human, conflicted, back-stories abound with both Israelis and Palestinians appearing completely real.  Rejected by Israeli mainstream channels, YES committed to produce it and Netflix came on board to make it happen.
Series Two premiered in Israel on New Years Eve.  Can’t wait to see it here.

La Casa De Papel
A Spanish heist series – one of the best of 2017.  Am in the middle of it now.  Fascinating storytelling.  Great characterisations.

Babylon Berlin
Berlin 1929 – 1934.  $40million production from Sky Deutschland.  The most expensive non English language TV drama series ever made.
The Weimar Republic, the Soviet Union, the Jazz Age, sex, crime, politics and history.  Unmissable.

La Mante
The Mantis, a serial killer offers to help police solve a string of copycat murders – but only if her cop son handles the case.  Recommended by Stephen King.  A TF1 France production.  Scary.

Suburra: Blood on Rome
I wrote about this a couple of weeks ago.  Based on the 2015 film, this is a terrific Italian production based in Rome 2008.  Mafia, Vatican, politicians, family.  It’s got it all.

And Marseille
(Second series out this month.)  With Gérard Depardieu as the consummate old school, no-holds-barred politico in that most fascinating, multicultural hotbed city, Marseille.

A great way to feel the street-beat of different cultures and different cities.