Crime scene: Shift change

Soap2dayJune 2, 2021
Content / criticism

Crime scene logo

"Tatort: Shift Change"
Start of Germany: March 28, 2004 (Das Erste)

The Ostendorf shipyard in Kiel has been in crisis for a long time because the income is insufficient. One thing is clear: there is an urgent need to reduce costs. But how? Felix Ostendorf ( Felix Eitner ), who inherited the shipyard from his father, only sees the possibility of firing people. It should be fifty in the end, put together by works council chairman Rudolf Bruhns ( Bruno F. Apitz ). But he is stubborn, he wants to distinguish himself as a tough negotiator. When he was found slain the next day, the investigating chief detective, Klaus Borowski ( Axel Milberg ), had no shortage of suspects. Whether it's Bruhn's colleague Manfred Heise ( Joachim Nimtz ) or Executive Secretary Tatjana Matthies ( Stefanie Stappenbeck ), who stands up for her brother Benno ( Arndt Schwering-Sohnrey ) – they all had reasons to be angry with the deceased …

The social conscience

The crime scene , especially the films of younger age, is often not just about a crime and the investigation of it. Instead, an effort is made to incorporate social components into the story. And so it went, for example, in recent months in Below the homeless in Heile Welt right populism is addressed, Schoggiläbe tried in the division between rich and poor. Sometimes it works better, sometimes worse. The reactions from the audience are mixed anyway, because while some welcome it when a crime thriller strives for social relevance, others just want to switch off on Sunday evening and leave the world outside.

In the case of Tatort: Shift Change , the 561st case in the ARD crime series , it initially looks as if it is also one of those films that want to combine social issues with tension. In fact, the TV production soon turns out to be a sham. The strike at the shipyard that started the story was settled shortly after Bruhns' death. The issue of the impending dismissal resonates in several places. Much more important, however, are the various personal relationships that cause numerous conflicts and therefore provide the motives for murder. The script is not particularly interested in the fact that many people around it are facing an existential end.

Too much excessive drama

It's a bit irritating. Even if you are not an avowed fan of the more ambitious direction of some episodes, you can ask yourself what that should be. A pronounced social drama, as you often find it in France in particular – see for example strike – would not have been necessary at all. But dropping the aspect completely in order to concentrate fully on the interpersonal drama, that's a waste. Especially since Tatort: Shift change not even convinced in this regard. How everyone is connected with everyone here is so exaggerated, as if you had accidentally put the script of a soap opera on the wrong pile. Rarely do you experience a film that starts with realism and then becomes so nonsensical to the point of grotesque dissolution.

Nevertheless, the film definitely has its strengths. Tatort: Shift change , for example, has a lot to say about how people can be degraded to a commodity. Or that some people like to present themselves as something that they are not at all. For example, while the struggle between a company owner and a works council chairman is often drawn rather one-sidedly in favor of the latter, this is much more difficult with good and bad. All in all, that's enough for average, also because of the beautiful Kiel atmosphere. Borowski's second appearance was nothing more than that.


OT: "Scene of the crime: shift change"
Country: Germany
Year: 2004
Director: Christine Hartmann
Script: Jan von der Bank
Music: Frank Roemer
Camera: Volker Tittel
Cast: Axel Milberg, Maren Eggert, Mehdi Moinzadeh, Stefanie Stappenbeck, Felix Eitner, Joram Voelklein, Arndt Schwering-Sohnrey

Buy / Stream

These links are so-called affiliate links. If you buy via this link, we will receive a commission without incurring additional costs for you. In this way you can support our side.


Crime scene: change of shift
"Tatort: Shiftwechsel" begins with a strike, then tells of a murder, only to later fish mainly in interpersonal drama. That the social aspect is dropped so quickly is a little irritating. And the case itself is not very satisfactory, despite the beautiful atmosphere.

Comments are closed.