Passionate Whodunit fans know how to recognize perpetrators in a television thriller: They are always the best-known actors with the weakest motive.

A series that wants to plausibly explain a rampage in a shopping center, however, cannot make it that easy.

Rather, it has to be a probable perpetrator, but the highlight of the densely narrated ZDFneo in-house development “Amschlag” is that there are a number of them.

With recourse to a non-fiction book by the psychiatrist Reinhard Haller - in the series he appears under his real name as an expert on the news - it is only possible to establish that there is an act that was motivated by a personal offense.

So it is not really a terrorist attack following religious or nationalist brainwashing radicalization.

It's about the perpetrator

In contrast to the excellent Danish series “When the silence comes in”, which focuses entirely on the victims, things are once again perpetrator-centered, but the multi-perspective approach mitigates this in an interesting way, after all, the ingenious book by Agnes Pluch juggles with perpetrators in the subjunctive many of which will ultimately turn out to be victims. Five of the six episodes are each dedicated to a character, but also blend into the other narrative threads.

Since the narration spans five days ahead of the attack, the plot runs chronologically despite the leaps in perspective. Umut Dağ staged it in a fast-paced, but also slightly routine manner. Again and again the predictive camera zooms in on small hints, such as a bulging money pocket (which of course disappears), a bunch of keys (with consequential effects), weapons of all kinds. In terms of content, we are presented with a whole range of insults. Causes are injured pride, disappointed love, bullying up to self-hatred, maternal trauma, consequences of accidents, fraudulent feelings of fraud, feelings of failure with regard to one's own children or humiliation at work. This diversity is the program: every hope, the series clearly indicates, can turn into its opposite.

There we have, for example, the single mother Sarah (Johanna Wokalek), who has too little time for her children, has taken on financially with a doctor's office and argues with the ex-husband about maintenance payments;

There are also money problems in the upper middle class.

The strong security employee Georg (Murathan Muslu), who has been deprived of his promotion, is a Rammstein-like romantic with an outdated understanding of gender roles and an inferiority complex, who cannot deal with the blindness of his depressed wife (Antje Traue), especially since he blames himself for being at the The driver of the accident car was sitting.

The secondary characters assigned to the protagonists also go through one disappointment after the other.

The boss is an exploiter

The fact that the CVs shown in excerpts from their everyday work are sometimes stereotypical - most noticeable in the case of business woman Mira (Julia Koschitz), who as a child vainly wooed the love of her parents, who in her almost parodistically exaggerated career job at an insurance company with you intellectually and sexually exploitative cliché boss (Anian Zollner) has to fight - is a shortcoming of the series. Some changes in character also come too suddenly. The Danish series managed to do that more authentically. In return, Agnes Pluch succeeded in doing a few twists that one would not have expected, for example in connection with an online dating trap, which at first seems all too obvious, into which Mira's mother (Ulrike Willenbacher) seems to have fallen into.

With experimental constructions there is always the risk that the form principle will superimpose the narrative dynamics. That this is not the case here is due to the fact that the delightful sub-plots remain coherent, appear physically convincing from a visual point of view (camera Cristian Pirjol) and are cleverly interwoven. Even loners like the doctor's assistant Oliver (Daniel Langbein), who harassed Sarah with his affection, interact casually with the protagonists of other narrative strands.

And although a real psychiatrist gives initial interpretative help at the beginning of each episode, there is not too much psychologization at the character level.

Most of the dialogues seem taken from real life.

The fact that failed love can lead to disaster should therefore not be proven psychoanalytically in the head, but is simply a realistic basic assumption from which this tragedy is currently being developed.

In addition, there is a consistently convincing performance.

Julia Koschitz is (once again) so good at this that she even gives her not very original figure something like starring flair through precise emotionality.

Who is capable of such an act?

It also remains exciting. Until shortly before the end, it is completely unclear which of the characters will be capable of the amoctate. They are all impulsive, smashing expensive cars out of desperation, smashing laptops (the child wished for a better one), poisoning pets or burning their dearest memories. And yet Pluch and Dağ do not rise above any of the characters or their misfortune because they know that despair is always individual and cannot be weighed against each other.

Even if there is a lot of concept in the individual dramas and the racially motivated attack in Munich, which is indirectly alluded to, is explained somewhat differently, ZDFneo has succeeded in creating a miniseries that are both gripping and contemplative, which reminds us of the fatal consequences it can have when people see their isolation - whether justified or not - as humiliation by society and develop a hatred of any supposed happiness.

At the attack - The power of hurt

runs in three episodes today and on Wednesday, from 9.45 p.m., on ZDFneo.

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