Frankfurt “Tatort”: The idea behind the new Sunday crime thriller

Frankfurt “crime scene”
The idea behind the new Sunday thriller

Investigators Anna Janneke (Margarita Broich, left) and Paul Brix (Wolfram Koch) in the latest Frankfurt “Tatort: ​​Luna eats or dies”.

© HR / Bettina Müller

A constant change between reality and fiction. That is why the makers of “Luna eats or dies” rely on this style element.

A new broom sweeps clean? The makers of the Frankfurt “Tatort” relied on the young director and author Katharina Bischof for “Luna eats or dies”, who staged a “Tatort” for the first time in her career. However, thanks to her involvement with “Der Alte” and “SOKO Munich”, the Munich resident has already gained experience in crime.

At her side was the screenwriter Johanna Thalmann, who already wrote for the Netflix series “Biohackers” and the Joyn series “Katakomben”. Interestingly, the upcoming Munich “Tatort: ​​Dreams”, which will celebrate its premiere next Sunday, November 7th, also comes from her pen.

This is how Thalmann and Bischof think about their Frankfurt work:

The story is advanced on three levels. There’s the investigation, there are scenes from the Book of the Murdered, and there are television reports. How did this idea come about?

Johanna Thalmann and Katharina Bischof: We wanted to tell the case strictly from the investigators’ perspective. At the same time, we wanted to dive deep into the emotional world of the characters in the episode. This gave rise to the idea that the investigators would read the stories in the book and imagine the world of the protagonists, always based on the current state of knowledge of the investigation. The suspects appear in the visions of the commissioners, as well as their homes, workplaces and so on – the more the commissioners know, the more detailed their ideas. Strictly speaking, however, there are only two levels, since the television reports belong to the investigation level.

The film always revolves around the question of what is fiction and what is truth. This is also a very topical issue. Is this a coincidence?

Thalmann and Bischof: That is certainly no coincidence and we are very pleased that this statement was found between the lines. The narrative of our crime scene not only plays with the terms fiction and truth within the filmic space, but also refers to its own origins. Because working out the central story brought us makers into the same conflict as the figure of the author in the film. On the one hand, we wanted to do justice to the pressing issue of the great social gap in Germany. On the other hand, there was the danger of using the real suffering of actual people as a pure plot of a fictional narrative. A cinematic tightrope walk that made working on this project unique.

Investigators find a crucial clue near a bridge. She describes the murdered woman very clearly in the book: “The teddy takes care of you.” But the spot is only noticeable from the right perspective. How did you come up with this location?

Thalmann and Bischof: A location scout makes suggestions for locations based on the script. We had described an atmospheric place with a distinctive recognition feature. The pier on the banks of the Main was an exciting place – between bridges, right on the water and with graffiti on the wall. The teddy bear motif was a good fit, as the investigators are looking for a corpse of a baby. In parallel to the search for a motif, we worked on the so-called rotary version of the book. When we decided on the location, we adapted the scene, including the dialogue, to the location we found.

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