The “crime scene” in a quick check: Happy Birthday, Falke!


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The “crime scene” in the quick check
Happy Birthday, Falke!

By Ingo Scheel

For the tenth anniversary, Thorsten Falke meets a father who is looking for his son. Jon Makoni and his wife Hope come from Zimbabwe and live in Germany without papers – “Verborgen” tells of a parallel world between desperation and hope.

What happens?

When a truck driver opens the pallet compartment of his truck, people stream towards him, who then disappear in the dark of night. What remains is a young man who died of a heart attack due to the stress of the confinement and the fear of being discovered. Thorsten Falke (Wotan Wilke Möhring) and Julia Grosz (Franziska Weisz) from the federal police have to investigate in Hanover: Who are the backers of the smuggler ring, which makes money with the hopes of migrants for a better future?

Jon Makoni (Alois Moyo) is also one of these desperate people. He lives in a sparse basement apartment with his wife Hope (Sheri Hagen). The two come from Zimbabwe, have no papers and make ends meet with jobs at the wholesale market or cleaning. When their son Noah disappears, they have no choice but to contact the police. In doing so, they are completely jeopardizing their fragile existence in Germany. Falke and Grosz also take on this matter and get to know a parallel world: refugees from Africa who can only live “hidden” in Germany because they are often not even “tolerated” officially.

What is it really about?

Jon Makoni (Alois Moyo) and his wife Hope (Sheri Hagen) hope for a better future.

(Foto: NDR / O-Young Kwon)

In Thorsten Falke’s previous assignments, the topic of migration was a recurring one, as it is now in the 17th case for the tenth anniversary. The part of the story about Jon and Hope occupies a special place. Falke and Jon Makoni get closer to each other, investigating together. Julia Grosz gets to know the other side of this family history, because Noah’s mother Hope has taken on an almost irreconcilable bitterness at all the shattered dreams.


Maybe not to zap away, but when Falke is sitting with Jon Makoni in the “Café Crocodile”, people are dancing to African rhythms and the inspector, who is used to his milk, of course pronounces the name of the supposedly exotic food wrong, then that might be a bit too much in terms of striking folklore .


Crime fans shouldn’t expect too much of suspense, “Verborgen” is once again more of a social drama than a classic case. As such, the film by screenwriter duo Julia Drache/Sophia Ayissi and director Neelesha Bartels is convincing as an insight into the lives of some people, of whom there are around 600,000 in Germany – without papers, possibly “integrated” into working life in a provisional way. but always in the fear of being caught and being expelled.

How was it?

8 out of 10 points – an intense drama, forcefully implemented, a case worthy of an anniversary.

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