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The title of this “Tatort” episode is probably a little joke. Not only in Cologne, when you listen to “Huberty’s Rache” you can suddenly think of a moderator who for many years presented “Sportschau” from a TV studio in this city. But the production commissioned by WDR from Bavaria is not about WDR legend Ernst Huberty, but about Humbert Humbert, a figure from literary history, not television history.

Humbert is the first-person narrator of Vladimir Nabokov’s novel “Lolita” and, like the perpetrator character in “Tatort,” an educated man who abused a minor. High school teacher Daniel Huberty (Stephan Kampwirth) had an affair with 14-year-old student Jana (Mathilde Bundschuh), was convicted, served his sentence, but still feels unfairly treated years later, and now threatens a tour boat. with the “passengers”, like Captain Körber (Guido Renner) likes to joke about gender-appropriate language, to blow him up.

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“Now you can first enjoy the magnificent panorama of the most beautiful city in the world,” Körber says over the loudspeaker as “Agrippina”, a reference to the founder of the Roman city of Cologne, sets sail. A little later, Huberty takes over, but the panorama of this city, which can certainly be called beautiful, at least seen from the river, is widely appreciated in Marcus Weiler’s production.

[„Tatort – Hubertys Rache“, ARD, Sonntag, 20 Uhr 20]

An ARD thriller from a tourist perspective, so to speak. Time is ticking, the bomb is ticking. Huberty, who had already killed the ship’s technician the night before, gave an ultimatum and further uncertainty with the comment that there was a trustworthy person on board. The special task force targets the kidnapper. In addition, the commissioner Max Ballauf (Klaus J. Behrendt) can be exchanged for several hostages with a false identity and his life is in danger, which puts enormous stress on his colleague and friend Freddy Schenk (Dietmar Bär). Of course, the dramatic setting suffers from the fact that the ending in a police series with recurring characters is not that surprising. A lot can be revealed: After Anna Schudt left the Dortmund team, WDR did not lose any more “Tatort” actors.

Not only emotion, but also spirit of the times

It’s not easy to trust a former teacher and amateur kidnapper like Huberty with such a show. Eva and Volker A. Zahn, who wrote the screenplay, are not only concerned with emotion, but also with the spirit of the times. Huberty is one of those people “who can’t stand or accept that rules and laws don’t accurately reflect their own personal feelings, needs, and views,” according to WDR. They created the character as a “high-stakes version of an angry, uninhibited citizen,” so actor Stephan Kampwirth doesn’t make the mistake of portraying anger too obviously. Apparently, Huberty just wants to confront those responsible for his allegedly unfair treatment of him and rehabilitate himself.

[Alle Folgen des True-Crime-Podcasts Tatort Berlin des Tagesspiegels finden Sie hier]

Already on board is chief prosecutor Svenja Poulsen (Christina Große), who was promoted after the trial against her and was demanding the maximum sentence at the time. Thanks to social networks, Huberty learned that he wanted to celebrate the birthday of her daughter Amelie (Anna Bachmann) with a trip to the Rhine together. Now the police should also bring Jana’s mother, Huberty’s ex-wife and his new partner and a real estate agent on board. Rainer Piontek (Hannes Hellmann) had torpedoed Huberty’s fresh start by terminating his tutoring school lease. But because the two do not know each other personally and because there is no photo of Piontek online, Ballauf is able to pose as Huberty’s former owner.

Initially, it is not clear if the former teacher could have been wronged at one point or another. But the movie doesn’t put its audience in a real dilemma. Any identification with a man who styles himself as a victim and doesn’t even begin to question his own behavior is difficult. At the end of the day, Huberty’s twisted worldview needs to be straightened out, which works perfectly.


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