ZDF Enterprises Presents Yellow Bird ‘Huss’ Cop Show To Buyers

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“Remember, you were trained for this,” a veteran cop tells the rookies sitting in the back of a van as they approach a brawl after a soccer game at a local park.

But in “Huss”, nothing in her courses at the police academy prepares Katarina Huss for her months of internship in the streets of Gothenburg in Sweden: kidnapping, bodily harm, corruption, treason, manslaughter and attempted murder. And that’s right within the police itself.

Produced by Daniel Gylling (BBC “Wallander”), and written and directed by Jörgen Bergmark (“Gray Zone”, “Beck”), “Huss” is the latest series from Yellow Bird Productions (“Millennium”). Co-written by Peter Lindblom, whose work includes the Swedish series “Wallander”, and inspired by the best-selling novels by Helene Tursten, “Huss” is supported by Viaplay, Scandinavia’s greatest local SVOD actor, Discovery, and German companies ZDF and ZDF, the biggest TV co-producers.

ZDFE has acquired the international rights and is now bringing “Huss” to the free market.

The Scandinavia-ZDF axis has already produced the Nordic Noir classics “The Killing” and “The Bridge”. A very human take on an institution, “Huss” takes a different approach, with Katarina navigating a new moral landscape – driven in all five semi-autonomous episodes by murder involving a minor, gender abuse, hostage taking , undercover to blow up a drug syndicate and – creating the backbone of the series for the first season – the police fallout on the ground from the recent riots that left a crew member in a coma.

The result is a very present police drama that builds an image of the dynamics, structures and the particular collective psychology of a police force that responds only to itself.

“’Huss’ is special because of the way the series is created around its central character, Katarina Huss. We don’t just observe Katarina, we stand right next to her, seeing things exactly as she sees them. sees, ”said Robert Franke, vice president of ZDFE.drama, ZDF Enterprises.

He added, “We take his point of view and Katarina’s reality becomes ours. It’s exciting, demanding, engaging – and very compelling when it comes to tackling a project like “Huss”.

Variety spoke with Bergmark as ZDFE kicked off the first season of an engaging and engaging proceeding, which will heat the career of star Karin Franz Körlof (“The Wife”, “The Restaurant”), actor, playwright and director who was a European Shooting Star Berlinale in 2017.

Huss
Credit: ZDF Enterprises

“Huss” feels post-Time’s Up. Men in power, like team leader Johan, always make passes here in Katarina. They are at least decent in doing so. Episode two deals with the team’s attempts to teach a vicious and repeat offender a torturer a lesson …

We have tried not to portray the traditional macho ideals of masculinity, avoiding the cliché. The team members aren’t feminists, but at least they’re modern enough to understand that there are limits to court and sexuality. But you have to consider that Johan and Darius are both of higher rank than Katarina. However, it is up to him to navigate within this structure.

At one point in the series, Darius, a detective, asks Johan if the team has kidnapped a delinquent and taken on the task of beating him. “I had partners who took thugs into the woods,” Darius says. “Then you should know that we stay together and keep our mouths shut,” Johan retorts. Johan appears to be the ideologue of police values.

Yes. The series is about the police as a group, its structures and its system. When you do a crime drama these days it’s hard to ignore what’s going on in the world, especially this year an ongoing conflict between part of the population and the police force and the most important thing about the police is his internal loyalty.

Katarina is also, and above all, the daughter of Gothenburg Deputy Police Chief Irene Huss. The team is from the working class. This creates great tension within the group. But it’s a bigger problem. In episode 1, Katarina compliments a child who lives in a skyscraper on her drawing. “Is that what you want to do when you’re older?” ” she asks. “Some people draw for a job…” “Not people like me,” he replies. He is only 12 years old but he already has this sense of limited prospects …

When we write, we are making a commitment to contemporary society, our own communities. Poverty is a big problem, not just in Sweden. It is not a question of ethnicity, which is the analysis of the right, but of class. When I was a child, the poor and the criminals looked like me. Many times these days they don’t.

Good series or films often illustrate psychological processes. In that sense, “Huss” plays out more like a coming-of-age story in which Katarina begins the series as a rookie cop who believes in black and white but is immersed in a world that, much like that of adulthood, is much grayer, where she is forced to make rather difficult ethical choices. Could you comment?

I’m glad you see this. Katarina is overwhelmed by a world where she must decide whether to be true to who she was and is meant to be or to structures opposed to her, forcing her to think and act in ways that she normally wouldn’t. . The question of loyalty – not just to the force but to yourself and your friends – runs throughout the series. The big conflict is between the public and the police but we use Katarina to embody her in a way.

Lazy loaded image

Jörgen Bergmark
Credit: ZDF Enterprises

Each episode or film is prefaced with an interrogation of team members or Irene about police strategy during riots six months earlier that left a team member, Karl, in a coma, affected. by a pavement, and another, Robert, seriously traumatized. There is a suggestion that Jonas should have known when to step down and a charge, leveled against Irene Huss, that the mass arrests only exacerbated the confrontation …

The riots in the series are loosely based on the EU summit riots in Gothenburg in 2001 when the police chief lost control of the situation and then escalated it. Protesters were injured and even shot dead by the police, and many police officers suffered trauma. So I imagined a situation 20 years later where a police squad comes into a riot, totally under-informed – which is the case in the field of a lot of police work – and gets overrun by rioters and doesn’t receive no reinforcement. This would of course create bitterness.

What were your guiding principles when you made “Huss”?

We shot every scene from Katarina’s perspective. She is always at the center even though she can be passive in the real scene. It’s not Nordic Noir. The tone comes from a decision on naturalism, that anything visible or every action or line, would actually work in the real world. It was tempting to use even more realistic or semi-documentary cinematography, but we stuck with a dynamic mix of portable and classic. But always following the actors, trying to get into the heads of the characters.



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