Tuesday, 25 June 2019


[Favourite of the Month] Launched in 2016 on German pubcaster Das Erste, Der Zürich-Krimi is a brilliant 90-minute crime drama. It starts in the United States on the SVOD service MHZ Choice this week as Money. Murder. Zurich. (its international title).

Borcherts Fall and Borcherts Abrechnung (Episodes 1 and 2) premiere today, followed by Borchert und die letzte Hoffnung and Borchert und die Macht der Gewohnheit (Episodes 3 and 4) on July 2.

Disgraced lawyer Thomas Borchert returns in Switzerland after years spent in Frankfurt, following the FonSonic financial scandal. One of his colleagues, Frederic Kuhn, committed suicide and the other, Enrico Strasser, is at large. Thomas takes refuge in Zurich, his hometown, and settles in a trailer on his parents property with the intention to clear his name. Produced by Germano-Austrian company Graf Film for ARD Degeto and Das Erste, Der Zürich-Krimi stars the great Swiss actor Christian Kohlund as the melancholic Thomas Borchert, an antihero in the mold of Horst Schimanski or Josef Matula.

Christian Kohlund's impressive presence on television includes several guest appearances in German crime drama classics Derrick and Der Alte, the French co-produced miniseries La Nouvelle Malle des Indes (1982), the role of Dr. Vollmers in Black Forest Clinic (Die Schwarzwaldklinik, 1985-1989), French miniseries Maria Vandamme (1989), Australian TV series Bony (1990), By Way of the Stars (1992),  Anna Maria - Eine Frau geht ihren Weg (1994-1997), Nancherrow (1999) or Das Traumhotel (2004-2014). Christian Kohlund also plays in Der Bergdoktor (launched in 2008) since last year.

In the excellent Borcherts Fall (2016), written by Verena Kurth and directed by Matthias Steurer, Filipina nanny Amihan Singh goes into hiding with a little boy named Daniel Frisch, the foster son of Bea and Urs Frisch. Amihan is arrested after stealing food on the market. Thomas Borchert tries to help her and he's put under arrest too. He calls star lawyer Dr. Reto Zanger, an old friend who advises him to contact his daughter, Dominique Kuster. Idealistic, she doesn't want Borchert for client but she accepts to assist Amihan Singh. Max Friedländer, an investigative journalist, hunts down Thomas in hope of a big story.

When Daniel is kidnapped, the former lawyer follows a lead to a couple of friends, real estate developer Matthias Duplessis and his wife Charlotte. Isabell Kuhn, Frederic's widow, blames Borchert for her husband's death. He's not sure if he can trust Reto and Police Captain Furrer doesn't like him. Dominique Kuster is played by Katrin Bauerfeind in the first episode. Ina Paule Klink (Wilsberg) replaced her from Borcherts Abrechnung. Penned by Wolf Jacoby (from an idea by Verena Kurth) and helmed by Carlo Rola (Rosa Roth), this second episode sees Thomas Borchert in big trouble.

Borchert awaits his extradition in a jail cell because of the FonSonic case. He receives the visit of his ex-boss, Horst Zeidler, who offers him a dirty deal. Dominique refuses to represent Thomas, Furrer is quite hostile and Max Friedländer is still after him. He's determined to establish the truth on FonSonic but neither Reto Zanger nor Matthias Duplessis ease his task. Someone wants him and Dominique dead and only a figure from the past has all the answers. Borcherts Abrechnung is a perfect thriller which allows Christian Kohlund to develop further aspects of his character.

Both TV movies were filmed between November 2014 and February 2015 in Zurich and in... Prague. Also starring Swiss actor Robert Hunger-Bühler (Reto Zanger), American actress Leslie Malton as Charlotte Duplessis, Richard van Weyden (Matthias Duplessis), Felix Kramer (Captain Furrer), Dominik Weber (Max Friedländer), Valentina Sauca (Bea Frisch), Michael Lott (Urs Frisch), Kotti Yun (Amihan Singh), Denis Ungewitter (Daniel), Maria Boettner (Isabell Kuhn), Regula Grauwiller (Vera Laurent), Iván Gallardo (Juan Pablo), Anita Vulesica (Regula Gabrielli), Janek Rieke (Frederic Kuhn), Markus Boysen (Horst Zeidler), etc.

Co-produced with Mia Film. Produced by Klaus Graf and Annemarie Pilgram. Michal Pokorný (Mia Film) and Kirsten Frehse (ARD Degeto) are the line producers. Music by Michael Klaukien & Andreas Lonardoni. Cinematography by Michael Boxrucker (Episode 1) and Nikolai Gutscher (Episode 2). Made with the support of the Czech Film Fund. Distributed by Beta Film.

[Update - July 5]  

Der Zürich-Krimi - Episodes 3 & 4: Borcherts und die letzte Hoffnung & Borchert und die Macht der Gewohneit:

See also:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Borcherts Fall has two things wrong about the Filipino nanny: The actress portraying the role would never pass for Filipino, according to this Filipino watcher. She is too East Asian, as in Chinese, Japanese, or Korean, while Filipinos are Southeast Asian, which include Malaysians and Indonesians (meaning we have darker skin). Her family name Singh is not a common Filipino surname. It is Indian, as in Punjabi, and a Filipino with such a name would have South Asian blood, and would look more like Indian, Bangladeshi, or Pakistani. FYI, the song she hums while in her cell is titled 'Sa Ugoy ng Duyan' which roughly translates to 'The Cradle's Sway.' I wonder why the Filipino consultant for this episode knew the song but left out on the appearance and surname.