DQ Recommends: Non-English-language drama

DQ Recommends: Non-English-language drama

October 15, 2020

DQ Recommends

DQ asks some of the people who make TV around the world which non-English-language series they’re currently watching and recommending.

From Norwegian broadcaster NRK, this dramatic tragicomedy (also pictured above) is based on true stories from the country’s financial world. It follows four friends in their 30s who try to escape the stresses and pressures of their everyday lives through drugs, prostitutes and other morally challenging outlets. Writer/director Østen Karlsen (Dag) is behind the show.

YLE drama producer Suvi Mansnerus says: “This is such a cool show. Well done Norway! The first impression is that is this just all about the guys messing around. But because of the great script and the production, the main question behind this is all about the emptiness of people’s lives. When we have all the money and power in our hands, where do we go from there?”

The Paradise
This crime drama is set within a Finnish expat community in the Spanish town of Fuengirola, where a Finnish police investigator is sent to investigate the disappearance of two Finns, leading her to link up with the local police as more crimes are uncovered.

Sunder Aron of India-based Locomotive Global Inc says: “I’ve seen early episodes of this Finnish-Spanish series created by Matti Lane. I love that it is basically a new spin on Scandi noir, taking the Finns to the Costa del Sol for murder and crime. The lead Spanish detective seems more like a Scandinavian character himself, and this gives the series an interesting tinge.”

Delhi Crime
Based on the real case of a gang rape that took place in 2012, this Indian miniseries debuted at the Sundance Film Festival in 2019, before it was acquired by Netflix. Written and directed by Richie Mehta, it follows the police investigation to find the group of men responsible for the rape and assault of a woman, who later died from her injuries, and the assault of her male friend on a bus.

Big Light Productions creative director Emily Feller says: “Rarely does a drama brilliantly keep you gripped to the story, introduce you to a place you don’t know and still have something incredibly important to say about the world. “Delhi Crime managed all of these with intelligent direction, utterly engaging performances and high production values on a relatively low budget.”

Created by Eilif Skodvin and Anne Bjørnstad (Lilyhammer), this Norwegian series takes place at the dawn of a new phenomenon, when people from three historical periods – the Stone Age, the Viking era and the late 1800s – suddenly return. A couple of years later, Alfhildr, from the Viking age, is teamed up with burnt-out police officer Lars Haaland as part of the police department’s integration programme. While investigating the murder of a woman with Stone Age tattoos, Lars and Alfhildr make unexpected discoveries.

Kateryna Vyshnevska, head of development and copros at Ukraine’s Film UA, says: “HBO Nordics’ drama is expertly crafted, as you expect from HBO. They don’t do mediocre. Beforeigners tackles big issues while managing to be funny and balancing on the right side of absurd. It feels distinctly Nordic, too.”

A young undercover cop infiltrates a powerful criminal organisation and finds himself caught in a web of violence, treachery and temptation in this Belgian drama co-commissioned by Eén and Netflix. It stars Tom Waes, Anna Drijver, Frank Lammers and Elise Schaap.

Story Films writer-director Dave Nath (The Interrogation of Tony Martin) says: “Belgian Bob and Dutch Kim pose as a married couple at a holiday campsite to snare one of Europe’s biggest drug dealers! It is original and gripping.”

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