five reasons to see the German series of “Kill Bill” tunes

Two Germans, a vengeful spy, colorful colors, bloody murders… Set in Berlin during the fall of the USSR, the spy series with a pop GDR atmosphere is already attractive abroad who speaks German.

Berlin 1990, the Wall has just come down. Kleo, an elite East German spy, is released from prison, released along with other political prisoners. He spent three years locked up, put in the closet after a successful mission. Its former leaders criticized it; in prison, Kleo lost his son. He sought out those responsible, former dignitaries of the recently disbanded Stasi. In search of answers, above all, and revenge, too.

Because of his muscular (and murderous) interrogations, Sven, a policeman from the West takes an interest in his case. He saw Kleo holding down a target on his last mission. No one believed him at that time when he named the young woman as the culprit. He also sought to understand who this woman was who did not appear in any file.

Made and manufactured in Germany, Cleo, released on August 19 on Netflix, has already enjoyed international success. A recipe that requires five ingredients.

East and West Personified

Two Germanys, two characters. Kleo and Sven are the battle between East and West.

She, the daughter of an oilman in the GDR, grew up as an elite agent of the Stasi, played by Jella Haase, who easily juggles the two faces of her character: a methodical and frozen murderer, but also a misguided young woman – Torn from him. mother, also lost her unborn child.

He, a clumsy policeman in a flower shirt, who no one trusts, not even his wife. Rather loose and plagued by random obsessions, played by a frenetic Dimitrij Schaad.

If their meeting becomes an issue of state (or even reunification?), they must learn to work together.

Sven, the western policeman, is played by Dimitrij Schaad.

PhotoJulia Terjung/Netflix

Strong methods

Kleo’s technique: creative and meticulously prepared murders… In, however, unexpected events that create outbreaks of violence. In particular a terrible sequence of free fight between the floors and the mezzanine of a pavilion, skilfully staged. Kleo left a bloody trail, just like Uma Thurman’s bride Kill Bill. However, as Sven reminds him, they have an agreement: “We don’t kill people anymore. » However, if you really need to…

Endgame for the GDR

on Cleo, the colors of the late 1990s were tangy, pale even. They impose themselves on the eyes like socialist architecture in every corner of East Berlin, where only Trabants circulate. Or even the styles of clothes and haircuts, fixed in a certain way Germany 83. An atmosphere synthesized by the character of Uwe, a kind of East German double by Dwight Schrute in The office : not possible cutting, straps and metal glasses. Sociopathic tendencies more for this agent of the Stasi.

Most East Germans, including Kleo, continue to believe in the socialist ideal: the fall of the GDR remains for them a pious dream of the West, in any case a death.

Successful secondary characters

The Berlin of Cleo inhabited by a gallery of colorful personalities, all with a story, like Kleo’s roommate, who convinces himself that he is an alien sent to spread techno music among the people. With a small side Eve was killed, most of the antagonists are women. Kleo faces a double agent from the West, a former classmate (another overtrained spy), a fictionalized version of Margot Honecker and her purple hair – which almost passes for a wacky villain here, far from the brutality of the historical figure.

A very effective scenario

The plot unfolds at a fast pace, with no downtime, like in spy movies where people who don’t need to meet mean each other in a minute. Kleo and Sven find a red suitcase, perfect macguffin which stimulates the passions. The luggage has a secret that can bring down the GDR, but it is impossible to know which one. Regardless, most of the characters chase and tear each other apart to get it. And the timing of their meeting is not far from burlesque.

Kleo: an elite Stasi agent and a misguided young woman.

Kleo: an elite Stasi agent and a misguided young woman.

Photo Julia Terjung/Julia Terjung


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q Cleo, spy series created by Hanno Hackfort, Bob Konrad and Richard Kropf, Germany, 8 × 50 min. On Netflix.

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