D.The rent cover is tipped, and so hard-hit Swedish housing companies, which have been making trouble with luxury refurbished apartments in Berlin for years, can at least happily send their letters again in which the tenants are kindly informed that “the last between the landlord and you agreed rent “is to be paid – also retrospectively. It also reads nicely: “With the judgment of the Federal Constitutional Court, these are bans directed at the landlord [durch den Mietendeckel]to demand and / or accept the above-mentioned partial amounts from the respective tenant, retroactively no longer apply. ”After all, it was advised to“ save the difference until the judicial review is completed ”. Well – no pandemic, no possible rental debts – you want the arrears to be paid within fourteen days.
This is only the tip of the iceberg, of course; and it’s not just the Swedes who are profiting from the housing shortage. All those who have enough financial means to invest in houses want a piece of this cake. In Berlin’s “Tatort: The Third Skin”, Ceylan Immobilien has the apartment of the bus driver Otto Wagner evicted. Soon he is sitting in an emergency shelter with his wife and child. Gülay Ceylan (Özay Fecht), the matriarch of the family business that started out as a small property management company, finally wants to play with the big ones and refurbish the house at Georgistrasse 37 in a luxurious way.
The next day, Gülay’s son, Cem Ceylan, is found dead in front of the house after falling from a balcony. The corpse shows traces of violence, the matter seems clear. But before the detective Robert Karow (Mark Waschke) and Nina Rubin (Meret Becker), who are somehow very suppressed, can really deal with the search for the perpetrator, the director Norbert ter Hall takes the time to draw up a large panorama of the big city rental problem.
Portrait of a house and its inhabitants
It starts with the portrait of the house in Georgistraße and its residents, which is of course designed as a cross-section of society suitable for television: There is Jenny Nowack (strong: Berit Künnecke), the single mother; Ilse Kirschner (Friederike Frerichs), the widowed pensioner; and Dries Vandenbroucke (Tijmen Govaerts), who officially fights against the methods of apartment sharks with his blog “Mietrebellen” – but who has long since got his flocks out of the water.
But ter Hall and the screenwriter Katrin Bühlig expand the picture together with their cameraman Richard van Oosterhout. The film was shot in autumn 2020, the pandemic is visible with masks and elbow greetings. Just like all those who have long been living on the streets. Ter Hall shows the faces of homeless people, fading in their age and their wishes: Tom, 69, who has been in emergency shelter for a week, wants to go home. Robert, 48, a year in emergency shelter, wants his wife back.
The fact that this attempt succeeds and does not tip over into German dismayed television is also thanks to the sober pictures by van Oosterhout. With a number of almost playful details, and with Gesa Jäger’s cut, he succeeds in combining the many characters and locations with each other in a sophisticated way and actually illuminating the apartments of the acting staff as the eponymous “third skin”. Suddenly every object in the depicted apartments is charged with meaning. Life means living, and here the contrasts are emphasized – between expulsion and property, between one’s own skin and one in which one can only wrap oneself for a while before it goes to the highest bidder. The music by Max van Dusen and Lukas McNally sets exemplary accents that do not drown anything, but anchor the images in the consciousness.
Wrapped up in beautiful snobbishness – only Karow’s cynicism is not only annoying to Rubin – Ter Hall’s team creates something that seldom really succeeds: the elements of this “crime scene”, the view of Germany, its debates and mock battles, which are mostly uncommented and Sometimes almost tragic dynamics between Karow and Rubin and the question of whether a life can simply be tidied away just because one is in the comfortable position to do so, to bring it into an impressive equilibrium.
The crime scene: the third skin runs on Sunday at 8.15 p.m. in the first.