Updated March 7, 2021, 10:28 a.m.
Ironically, the “Tatort” on the occasion of International Women’s Day is about women as objects. When a body is found in front of a nightclub, the lonely Mario comes under suspicion. Undercover, Commissioner Borowski attends a seminar to make tigers out of sissies. “Borowski and the Fear of White Men” is a tough case at a bad time.
Easter is coming soon. Perhaps the film adaptation of the novel “Down by the River” is shown on television in honor of the rabbit, which is teeming with killer rabbits, animal traps and other mischief that people bring to a colony of rabbits. For Father’s Day, “Game of Thrones” or “Star Wars” would offer, with fathers of epic cruelty. But first of all, International Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8th – and the “Tatort” honors it with a horde of men who speak of “pussies”, “sluts” and worse.
“Tatort” from Kiel: Not bad, but inappropriate
In any case, it’s not exactly the best idea that the Remembrance Day sub-department within the ARD’s programming department had. The department definitely exists, and it is sure to be made up of men. There is really no other way of explaining why the day for equal rights for women should be celebrated with “Borowski and the fear of white men”. Not a bad “crime scene”, just an inappropriate occasion.
The case concerns the body of a young woman near a nightclub. She was badly mistreated and traces of liquid ecstasy, also known as knockout drops, are later found in her body. The investigations lead the inspectors Klaus Borowski (Axel Milberg) and Mila Sahin (Almila Bagriacik) to Mario Lohse. He hooked up with Maike at the bar, and on the video of the club you can see how he seems to be pouring something into her drink.
Mario is an extremely shy and extremely lonely young man. He works in the barred ticket booth in an underground car park and otherwise spends a lot of time in the dark. Then he sinks into the messages of the self-proclaimed successful trainer Hank Massmann, who is probably actually called Hans-Dieter and still lives with mom. Arnd Klawitter is a convincing motivation devil – quite the calm, friendly professional who plays himself on stage as the friend and leader of the disenfranchised.
As Hank – pronounced “Hänk” of course – he leads workshops and offers motivational speeches for download, with slogans in which he “trains” men to become tigers because that is “what women really want”: “You are not afraid of to them, it is they who have respect for you! ” And “in the end she puts her throat down on the predator”. The shy, lonely, but also quite sick Mario soaks up the dirt like a washcloth.
But that’s not all: At the place where the corpse was found, Borowski discovers a “14” trampled into the ground – the symbol of neo-Nazis and racists that has spilled over to Europe from the USA and abbreviates a 14-word motto: “We have to Secure the existence of our people and a future for the white children. ” Among other things, for example, by the white man taking down asylum seekers and feminists and making white women submissive.
Backward-looking, misogynistic ideas like Massmann’s drivel are a popular recruiting tool for the right-wing extremist scene. The misogyny and the offense of so-called incels, “involuntary celibates”, i.e. involuntary celibate men, can be easily stirred up and used for terrorist purposes – how easy it can be, how fluid the transitions between right-wing radicals and radical anti-feminists can be, tells us ” Borowski and the fear of the white men “almost in fast motion.
“Sluts and asylum seekers” would “divide our country between them”, warns Massmann and urges his supporters to “get their dignity back”. While Borowski attends a Massmann workshop, colleague Mila Sahin takes care of the politician Birte Reimers (Jördis Triebel), who is committed to minorities and equality and is on a death list that appeared on the Darknet.
And somewhere in between moves Mario Lohse, who lives his life according to the script of the strong white man Massmann. Thanks to Joseph Bundschuh’s nuanced play, the unstable outsider evokes pity even when Mario’s inferiority complex boils up to an explosive mixture with the megalomania he has learned. Especially since he is also rejected by those with whom he feels connected: the Incel forum only has ridicule for him.
An embarrassing gesture by old white men
From the book by Peter Probst and Daniel Nocke, with the competent actors and directed by Nicole Weegmann, a complex “crime scene” emerges which, with the Incels, sheds light on a little-known aspect of the gender debate and thus also out of the long-running crime themes of darknet and right-wing radicalism Makes an engaging, relevant social commentary.
The dedication to International Women’s Day would not have needed it. Especially since Kiel not only has a self-confident, self-confident commissioner, but also a real dream man when it comes to feminism: Borowski is a man who doesn’t quarrel with his masculinity as much as with the fact that his colleague is a young, strong woman exemplary feminist.
And the Kiel “Tatort” proves to be state-of-the-art in that Borowski’s composure and the calmness of the Borowski / Sahin team are not celebrated in the individual episodes and are hardly discussed. Borowski in “The Fear of White Men” as an undercover agent in Massmann’s circles is nothing but the sober investigating inspector: he neither has to be expressly appalled at the nonsense that is being thrown out, nor express his solidarity with colleague Sahin, when a rather disgusting old adversary of Sahins arrives from Berlin with a constitutional protection officer.
That the man patronizingly calls the inspector “sweetheart” is the only platitude (and superfluous secondary character) that this “crime scene” affords. Yes, we understand: misogyny exists everywhere and in all different shades. But that Sahin, of all people, only reacts with suppressed anger instead of professional countermeasures is rather unbelievable.
But actually every “crime scene” with Borowski and Sahin is a contribution to International Women’s Day. It is only when you declare him one that it becomes an embarrassing gesture of white old men.
In 2020 the “crime scene” was 50 years old. So now he’s in his prime, as some would say. On average, 9.1 million viewers saw each of the 36 new episodes in the linear broadcast of the first. What can viewers expect in the new year? An overview by team of what’s going on at the “Tatort” 2021.