“Am I a witness or do I stand under suspicion?” For Commissar Thorsten Falke (Wotan Wilke Möhring) it is an unfamiliar situation. After a tragically failed mission, the federal police officer sits opposite a commissioner of the Lueneburg police in an interrogation room, the microphones of the recording device are directed at him and he must answer the questions of Joachim Rehberg (Jörn Knebel). “When the sun comes up, I have to go to the press. Until then, I want to know what happened “, Rehberg explains to the colleague.
“Everything they say” is the name of the new NDR “crime scene” with Wotan Wilke Möhring and Franziska Weisz as Falkes colleague Julia Grosz. Of collegial mood is in this case, however, felt little. In their statements, the two contradict each other again and again, the relationship between them seems shattered.
A young woman lost her life in an access that was never allowed to happen. There is a possibility that the bullet comes from Falkes weapon or he is in another way to blame for the death of the innocent woman. The Lüneburg Commissioner is to reconstruct the course of events and is dependent on the statements of Falke and Grosz.
It initially looked like a routine case: The BKA Commissioners are to examine a man who is suspected of having committed war crimes in the Syrian-Lebanese border area as a member of a militia. When he finds the man (Youssef Maghrebi) in a school where he helps with integration lessons, he flees. In a later access in a factory hall it comes to a firefight. His companion Amila is mortally wounded.
This “crime scene” is unusual in many respects and extraordinarily successful at the same time. The writers Arne Nolting and Jan Martin Scharf are not bothered by the fact that the setting is reminiscent of the crime series “True Detective” with Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, they point out that the construction with an unreliable narrator and different perspectives already by Akira Kurosawa was used in “Rashomon”.
The refugees in the film are “real”
With Özgür Yildirim, “What They Say” was implemented by a director who was already involved in the development of investigator duo Falke / Grosz . Although interrogated separately, he lets the two commissioners interact in a kind of remote duel. As a filmmaker of German-Turkish origin, Yildirim is annoyed when non-Germans are to speak broken German on television.
The refugees in this “crime scene” are therefore real refugees, “and that’s what they hear,” says the director. Yildirim came to the aid of a coincidence. It turned out that both Sabrina Amali, who plays the Lebanese Alima, and Franziska Weisz French speak. This makes these scenes look very authentic.
The impressive atmosphere of the film, which consists almost equally of the chamber play situation of the interrogation room and flashbacks to the events before the interview, is further enhanced by the image design of Matthias Bolliger and the music of Timo Pierre Rositzki. Falke and Grosz have not been seen like that before.