For some time now, Arte has been putting warnings in front of potentially "disturbing" programs.

"This program is not suitable for children, young people or sensitive viewers." This may be helpful for some, sometimes required for reasons of youth protection, but here it often seems arbitrary.

Why is there such a warning in front of the porn documentary “Deep Throat”, which impressively depicts the zeitgeist, but not in front of the historical documentary “Extermination at the Run: Death Marches 1944/45” with its gruesome historical archive material?

Which subject is more obscene, more disturbing?

And is that a marginal question?

In any case, films and series with prostitution seem to need a suspect label.

Arte also sticks the warning sign on "Red Light", a series about what is said to be "the oldest profession in the world" that is difficult to bear and does not contain any romanticization.

Anyone who accepts shaking up will see a multi-award-winning series from Belgium, where a lot of good programs come from.

"Red Light" is an elegantly filmed, awe-inspiring ten-parter that casts a web of criminal activity between Amsterdam and Antwerp.

It is about murder and human trafficking, about police entanglements and upper-class living environments, about classical music as a business of creating worship, but above all about the powerlessness and power of women in many facets and milieus.

"Red Light" has been compared to "Borgen",

The scope of the material ranges from forced prostitution and women (or rather girls) as commodities to frenetically revered female artists and painfully destroyed female unworldliness, from being expelled from the ivory tower of the concert business to affairs between professors and deeply impressed female students who “in Kierkegaard did not are so good”, from working women with husbands and children who, overburdened by their profession and domestic expectations, are looking for a way out (e.g. in alcohol), to mothers who are not up to their intended social and emotional role.

And it's always about men, to whom women orient themselves or to whom they subordinate themselves, to whom they look up or to whom they look down.

around men,

"Red Light" consistently tells its intertwined storylines from the female perspective, which is not least due to the fact that the strong leading actresses Carice van Houten and Halina Reijn co-wrote the screenplays (as well as Frank Ketelaar, Esther Gerritsen and Christophe Dirickx).

The direction of Anke Blondé and Wouter Bouvijn (camera Wim Vanswijgenhoven) stays close, almost too close, to Sylvia (Carice van Houten), a hardened brothel operator in Antwerp, to opera diva Esther (Halina Reijn), who, together with her philosophy professor husband Eric (Jacob Derwig) lives in Amsterdam, and the chief inspector Evi (Maaike Neuville), who is kicked out by her husband Gust (Joren Seldeslachts) when she starts drinking again in the chaos of the children's birthday party.

Sylvia's pimp and partner Ingmar (Geert Van Rampelberg) demands that their baby be aborted.

Eric first disappears without a trace, then is rescued dead from the water.

Evi works with colleague Sam (Koen De Bouw) to investigate this and other disappearances and deaths and tries, with heartbreakingly little success, to overcome a dislike for her children.

Neither Sylvia nor Esther nor Evi are only victims or perpetrators in this far-reaching story, but endure for a long time, who only become actors together.

"Female empowerment" and feminist equality were of course rarely seen in such a morally questionable way - that makes "Red Light" worth seeing to the last punchline.


Red Light

series is running on Arte today (episodes 1-4), on March 3rd.

(5–7) and 10.3.

(8-10) from 9.45 p.m.

Available in the Arte media library.