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ARD miniseries “Eldorado KaDeWe” takes you to Berlin in the twenties

Julia von Heinz tells in her ARD miniseries about the KaDeWe department store and about lesbian love in the 20s. But this is hasty and surprisingly superficial.

Frankfurt – In a publisher’s preview the sentence would probably have been: “For the readers of ‘Babylon Berlin’, ‘Boardwalk Empire’ and ‘Mad Men’.”

And these are just a few of the series that come back to your head particularly quickly when there is a party in Berlin in the twenties, when the saleswoman Hedi takes care of her sister in the most miserable circumstances and dreams of a better life, the heir Harry is suffering from his war trauma and dreams of a life with even more drugs and his sister Fritzi wants to assert herself as a woman and dreams of a life with Hedi. Because the ARD miniseries “Eldorado KaDeWe” * by Julia von Heinz (“And tomorrow the whole world”) focuses on lesbian love. But she doesn’t even really take the time for that.

ARD miniseries “Eldorado KaDeWe” by Julia von Heinz doesn’t take time for anything

That is perhaps the main problem: that “Eldorado KaDeWe” doesn’t really take time for anything, not because the times are so mad, but because it lacks the timing. The times are also mad in “Babylon Berlin”, but while the dance and music scenes there are iconic, amazing and enchanting, in “Eldorado KaDeWe” they jostle into the already fleeting stories under any pretext.

You talk briefly, then the scene immediately switches back to dance and music – mainly by Inga Humpe (one half of the band 2raumwohnung) and thus, as in “Babylon Berlin”, not historicalizing what works well. Drugs and sex are added to dance and music. Whips crack a man’s buttocks, including the black Erika, Christine Grant, the peaceful dominatrix and although she ensures diversity, on the other hand it is pretended that there was no racism against blacks in the twenties.

As much as possible of the women’s bodies can be seen without too much being seen. The frequency and public law cleanliness give it a penetrance.

There are reasons to be annoyed about the ARD miniseries “Eldorado KaDeWe”

So while it’s somehow and again about the Kaufhaus des Westens in Berlin and you can also be interested in it, there are reasons to be annoyed about this series. On a large scale and in detail.

You can even be very interested in KaDeWe, but despite the opulence of pictures, the series is just ignoring it. The passion for department stores – at an evil point in the film when the Nazis are approaching, and a sad one in the present when the end of department store culture seems to have been reached (hopefully not!) – remains a constant claim.

You never have the opportunity to indulge in this passion yourself. Apart from a few preppy moments like coffee roasting advertisements, there are no sensual glimpses into the wonder of the department store world. The Jandorf family, who came under economic and increasingly anti-Semitic pressure, Jörg Pose as the likeable father, Victoria Trauttmannsdorff as the conservative mother, Lia von Blarer as the (purely fictional) unruly daughter Fritzi, and Joel Basman as the cheeky son Harry, remain psychologically pale.

role Actress
Hedi Kron Valerie Stoll
Fritzi Jandorf Lia from Blarer
Harry Jandorf Joel Basman
Georg Karg Damian Thüne
Adolf Jandorf Jörg Pose
Cordula Jandorf Victoria Trauttmansdorff
Tietz Oliver Polak

Nothing develops in the ARD miniseries “Eldorado KaDeWe”

The friendship of the siblings with the authorized signatory Georg Karg (Damian Thüne as later Hertie boss, the historically most influential figure) and the saleswoman Hedi (the 22-year-old Valerie Stoll) is a construction out of nowhere. Julia von Heinz needs them for youthful scenes on the KaDeWe roof and because series love such friendships. But nothing develops.

Instead, the four of them put their fingertips tattooed with hearts together to form a cloverleaf to express their friendship. Even the love between Hedi and Fritzi is not intensified by Else Lasker Schüler poems, but only poured over. There must be love underneath, but you don’t get much of it. The fact that Stoll is lovely but only provides a seriousness and a heavenly glowing smile in the long run is too much and too little at the same time.

An annoyance in detail and proof of the irritability that can arise: “Eldorado KaDeWe” proudly presents unshaven women’s armpits, but the flawless pearl teeth, which no working-class daughter in Berlin in the twenties had ever had, are shown again and again with even more enthusiasm.

“Eldorado KaDeWe – Now is our time”

Monday, December 27, 2021, ARD, 8.15 p.m., all six episodes. Also in the media library.

In the ARD miniseries “Eldorado KaDeWe”, some things come to nothing

It is only the relentlessness of the passage of time that makes the rear episodes of the (probably simply too short) series more relevant. No matter what the young people are up to, the Nazis are up to something too.

Julia von Heinz often and more and more often lets the Berlin background be that of today. That usually comes to nothing. But the moment in which an AfD poster briefly appears behind Fritzi in view of the series Nazis with the line “No multiculturalism in our home” is strong. And it has the same effect that this series, of all things, which is aimed at effects, is otherwise lacking. (Judith von Sternburg) * giessener-allgemeine.de and fr.de are offers from IPPEN.MEDIA.

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