By Will Barber Taylor
The six-part series is set in the isolated but beautiful Biesczczady Mountains at the extreme Polish – Ukrainian border. Captain Rebrow’s unit, which specialises in human trafficking, becomes the target of a disastrous bomb attack leaving only Rebrow as the sole survivor.
Not long after the attack, Rebrow becomes the main suspect in the bombing. Determined to prove his innocence and get justice for his friends and girlfriend, Rebrow embarks on a dangerous investigation uncovering a dark political conspiracy.
Europe is in a dark place at the moment. With problems affecting the euro and a growing migration crisis, the continent seems to be in a bad place. The Border reflects that perfectly. Like a crack and dark mirror, it not only reflects what is happening in Europe, particularly in the areas surrounding Ukraine, but it also distorts it to heighten the drama.
However, the series would not be able to function without the strong central performance of Leszek Lichota as Captain Rebrow. Rebrow is a character who is broken at the start of the series but attempts to rebuild his life through discovering the truth as to why his team was killed. Rebrow’s reaction when he discovers that he is suspected of the deaths of his teammates is wonderfully played by Lichota. His control when faced with the destruction of his life as he knows it highlights the character’s flaws but also his strength; his solemn determination to uncover the cause of his friends’ demise makes us want Lichota to succeed and gives us greater investment in the character and the series.
The cinematography for the series is also excellent. The stunning landscape shots of Poland are expertly done and make the viewer yearn to see them up close because of their sheer beauty.
In conclusion, The Border is another excellent addition to the Nordic Noir library as it combines a thrilling story with awesome scenery. I would highly recommend it.
THE BORDER is available now on DVD from Nordic Noir & Beyond.