Sun never sets on Scandi noir
Midnight Sun, the high-concept Euro thriller from Mans Marlind and Bjorn Stein, starring French actress Leila Bekhti ( The Prophet) and Gustaf Hammarsten ( The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), intriguing, austere and beautiful. It’s the most expensive Nordic drama made, its creators also responsible for The Bridge, which has been shown in 160 countries and remade twice.
Kahina Zadi (Bekhti), a French homicide detective of Algerian Berber origins, travels to Kiruna, a small mining community in remote northern Sweden — where the summer sun never sets — to investigate the brutal murder of a French citizen. The first scene is one of the most dramatic in recent TV crime fiction: a man is revealed tied to the rotor blade of a large helicopter that slowly begins to rotate as the machine is started by some unseen hand.
The murder takes place at an icy, remote place called Rakkaslahku, 257km north of the polar Midnight Sun circle, a reindeer keeper reporting the atrocity to the local police. With the help of Swedish investigator Anders Harnesk (Hammarsten), from the indigenous Sami community, Zadi finds herself facing new killings that also seem to involve a heavy-duty machine of one kind or another, the initial murder just the beginning.
She and Harnesk have little idea what they are involved with but it seems to have something to do with the town’s mining complex, known by the locals as “Mother”, with which everyone in the local community has some kind of relationship. There’s little doubt from the clues set into the pilot episode that political, environmental and indigenous concerns will be plaited into the complex plot, and that questions about cultural sensitivities, racial acceptance and discrimination will influence the drama. SBS On Demand.
Peter Stormare, Leila Bekhti, Gustaf Hammarsten and Richard Ulfsater in the French-Swedish crime drama