Anders W. Berthelse and Charlotte Rampling in the "Kidnapping" series.


Dusan Martincek

  • Arte is broadcasting this Thursday


    , an eight-part series imagined by Torleif Hoppe, the co-creator of the successful Danish detective series

    The Killing


  • Kidnapping

    follows an investigation in Denmark, France and Poland around a vast network of child trafficking.

  • How does 


     try to escape the clichés of the Nordic crime series?

A Nordic Noir that turns to melodrama! 


, a series created by Torleif Hoppe, the co-writer of

The Killing

and broadcast this Thursday on Arte, follows the investigation by Rolf Larsen (Anders Berthelsen, seen in

The Killing

) on the kidnapping of a little girl, Mina, when his own daughter, Andrea, disappears.

Everything suggests an accident, but he is firmly convinced that the two cases are linked.

Scientific evidence refutes his theory.

Five years later, the case of little Mina is reopened following the discovery of the body of a young girl in France.

With the French inspector Claire Bobain (Charlotte Rampling), he will discover a vast network of child trafficking, with the secret hope of finding his daughter.


unfolds over 8 episodes and unfolds its tentacles in Denmark, France and Poland.

“I was asked if I could come up with an idea for a detective series.

I had just done

The Killing

and wanted to find another way to do it.

I said to myself that the police officer should be personally involved in the investigation, ”

Torleif Hoppe, creator of


, told

20 Minutes


A personal story at the heart of an investigation

The idea of ​​child trafficking stems from this will.

“I thought about what would impact me and figured something about my kids would be high on the list,” he continues.

This is how Rolf Larsen ends up with a "missing girl story"

The screenwriter plans for a time to build his investigation around a pedophilia network.

"It was too cliché," he changed his mind.

Torleif Hoppe continues his research and finds “stories of kidnappings and trafficking of babies in connection with people who could not have children.


On the one hand, there are well-meaning people willing to pay dearly to become parents and "give these children a better life", on the other, "people who would do anything to get that money".

"I found it to be an interesting dilemma to explore," says the screenwriter.

A survey that is deployed in several countries

While the classic Nordic Noir takes place in Scandinavia, Torleif Hoppe widens the field of investigation to Europe.

During his research, he discovered several cases in which "Catholic nuns, both in Spain and Ireland" were involved in child trafficking.

Child trafficking takes place “between the rich and the poorer parts of the world”.

He thinks for a while of deploying his story in Africa, but understands that he "does not need to go that far".

Eastern Europe, and more precisely Poland, corresponds to the needs of his plot: "They are still very poor and have very strict laws on abortion," he underlines.

He added: "If you are not allowed to have an abortion, it is obvious that there will be children born who will be less wanted than in other places.

»The ideal environment to imagine a« business »around the adoption of children.

"There will then be a tendency for those who are involved in this to push people to abandon their child," said the screenwriter.

Torleif Hoppe then imagines another plot around a young Polish girl, Julita, who is pregnant in a religious community.

"It would have been a shame to have this story discovered from the point of view of the police," he said.

The viewer therefore follows, in parallel with the investigation, the dramas of Julita

PMA, surrogacy, adoption… Beyond the resolution of the investigation, the series questions our society where everything can be negotiated: “I don't have the truth, but all these questions are interesting to discuss, especially when they become a problem. business case.

I really think one of the reasons I love this story of kids moving from hand to hand is because it's deeply emotional and human.


An atypical police trio

On entering the disused laundry room which will serve as headquarters for investigators, the French policewoman describes the minimalist decor as "very scandi".


is dark like a Nordic Noir, its name sounds like a Scandinavian detective series… but the series is not a classic Scandinavian thriller.

Particularly because



escape the usual clichés.

“Rolf is not behaving like a police officer should,” confirms Torleif Hoppe.

He is initially energetic, but not inherently depressive.

A cop in search of meaning, he is an avid reader of Jean-Paul Sartre.

Claire Bobain, the French policewoman played by Charlotte Rampling, also escapes caricature.

“In order to play Claire, I needed someone with natural authority.

Charlotte is perfect in this score, ”says Torleif Hoppe.

Neither love interest nor buddy cop-style complicity, the two cops have a cerebral relationship that ends with a quote from André Gide.

A young Danish policewoman, Neel (Olivia Joof), here completes the traditional duo of investigators.

“Neel kind of helps Rolf wake up.

When we get older, we realize how much youth is a source of inspiration, ”comments the screenwriter.

"It's a dynamic that I will continue in the second season on which I am working at the moment," announces the screenwriter.

"A good story full of emotion and human"

With its atypical characters, its forays into melodrama,


tries to escape the classic codes of the Nordic detective series.

“I am aware that I probably worked on one of the first series that we called 'Nordic Noir'.

When I wrote


I didn't think the show had to be Nordic Noir, I just wanted to write a good story full of emotion and human.

I guess I bring this tradition and I don't know if I can escape it, ”concludes Torleif Hoppe.


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