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DVD Review

DVD cover

8 Days


Starring: Christiane Paul, Mark Waschke, Lena Klenke, Luisa-Céline Gaffron and Fabian Hinrichs
Distributor: Acorn Media International
RRP: £24.99
Certificate: 18
Release Date: 06 January 2020

In eight days a 40km meteor will strike the heart of Europe effectively wiping out Germany and many of the surrounding countries. The Americans attempt to divert its path with little to no success. In the chaos which ensues one Berliner family and their friends must decide to stay or flee as the fabric of society crumbles around them...

8 Days (8 eps x 43 mins approx. 2019) is a German apocalyptic miniseries. The show was directed by Michael Krummenacher and Stefan Ruzowitzky, from a script by Peter Kocyla, Rafael Parente and Benjamin Seiler.

The series poses the question, what would you do if you only had eight days to live? Will the angels of your better nature win through or will an animal chaos descend to tear away the thin veil of civilization?

For the most part the show examines this question through an extended family. It may feel a little coincidental that all the things that happen are experienced by this small group, but with only eight episodes to play with - one for each day - I can appreciate that it was probably simpler to structure the narrative this way.

We first meet Uli (Mark Waschke) and his family, Suzanne (Christiane Paul) his wife and their kids Leonie (Lena Klenke) and Jonas (Claude Heinrich), who are trying to flee east towards Russia, the west having successfully closed off its boarders, letting only those with a pass enter.

Their plight is understandable, but some of the people who they meet have peculiar motives. In one instance smugglers demand all of the gold that they have, even though this is little more than wedding rings. In the genre, it’s a worn trope that there will be those for whom the penny never really drops and their innate greed seems to blind them to the fact that in the face of possibly the most catastrophic collision, you cannot eat gold or diamonds. In the end the family are separated and spend much of the remaining time trying to reunite the family.

Meanwhile Hermann, is one of the lucky ones, a rising star of the government he has a golden ticket to leave the country. When he turns up at the checkpoint he discovers that his pregnant girlfriend cannot accompany him, as they are not married. The DVD cover is a bit of a giveaway for the end of the show as the picture shows the girlfriend standing in the midst of destruction, holding a baby. Worst still, it’s the last shot of the series, Doh!! Hermann (Fabian Hinrichs) is a complete narcissist, only really interested in his own elevation. Even when he tries to reconnect with his father, it’s not love he brings, but money.

Having made it back home, we are then introduced to Klaus (Devid Striesow), who has his own daughter, Nora (Luisa-Céline Gaffron), trapped in a bunker, a bunker he uses to increase his power and control over a small band of men. To round things off we have Robin (David Schütter). The show spends a lot of time making you question whether he is the second coming of Christ or a deluded young man.

Even though there seems to be a lot going on, and there is, the script never felt crowded or confused. The acting was universally great and even though the show is in German with English subtitles, this did little to spoil the enjoyment.

There is little that is original here, but then when you decide to drop a massive asteroid on the country you would expect the rich to lie to the poor to ensure their survival. The press will not be wholly trusted, as they are owned by the wealthy and there will always be people who missed the memo about not being able to eat inanimate objects. What count is whether your tale is entertaining and the performances good and in the case of 8 Days it ticks both boxes.


Charles Packer

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