New Euro Noir ‘The Border’ arrives with an agenda

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New Euro drama series beats with a political heart.

The Border is a brand new gripping six-part crime drama that dares to push the boundaries with a metafictional narrative. The plot centres around a border guard unit stationed in the ironically idyllic mountains of Bieszczady, trained to recognise human-traffickers operating between the treacherous EU border of Poland and the Ukraine.

When a bomb attack desolates the specialised unit, Captain Wiktor Rebrow (Leszek Lichota) is the sole survivor. Having to deal with the loss of his friends and loved ones in the devastating aftermath, suspicion falls to Rebrow who is painted as the perpetrator behind the crime. Desperate prove his innocence, Rebrow embarks on his own investigation to bring the true villains to justice. However, it is not as easy as it seems when an ominous political agenda is behind it all.

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Channel 4 describes The Border as a “haunting, topical Polish thriller” which makes the storyline all the more relevant with its immediate message. Following on from the controversy surrounding ‘Brexit’ and the EU referendum, the surge of antisocial, racist, and xenophobic behaviour has found a new cultural platform and outlet to our detriment. The show also ties into the wave of LGBTI crime, ISIS terrorist attacks, and the Syrian refugee crisis. Notably the first drama series from Poland to be aired on UK screens, The Border is making a bold statement for its British debut.

In The Guardian, Mark Lawson’s candidly states: “No network in the UK would have dared to make this show at this time, but The Border would pass British rules of impartiality and balance. Neither Remain nor Leave could screen it on their campaign buses without uncomfortable moments.” As with The Bridge, each of the serial killers orchestrated their homicides with a socio-political campaign as a guise: “TT” AKA “The Truth Terrorist” who targeted societal perversions in season one, the eco-warriors in season two, and the anti-equality of gender and sexuality in The Bridge III.

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Lawson focuses further on the controversial themes The Border highlights: “The drama doesn’t demonise or sanctify migrants, but focuses on the rivals fighting over them: the traders who see vulnerable humans as booty, and the unwilling host country for whom they are both a political problem and a propaganda opportunity. The plot initially invites sympathy for the state, when the anti-trafficking squad is devastated by a terrorist attack. But the situation swiftly becomes more complex, with what seemed to be a cop show morphing into a political thriller. In these plot thickenings, the show doesn’t flinch from tackling aspects of the Polish psyche, such as xenophobia and misogyny that trouble outsiders.”

Watch for yourself to see how both Nordic Noir and Euro Noir television series offer more than intriguing fictional drama in a morbidly alluring setting.

The Border is available on Channel 4, coming soon to Nordic Noir & Beyond DVD!