When the sculptor Annette Baer (Jeanette Hain) comes home at night, she finds her adult son Lucas (Béla Gábor Lenz) in the bathroom. He is completely distraught and is wearing a blood-stained T-shirt. He can’t say exactly what happened. The boy just stammers: “I didn’t do anything to her.” You, that is Cara Mauersberger (Viktoria Schreiber). The young woman recently moved from Saxony to Frankfurt am Main and is found stabbed to death in her apartment. Inspectors Anna Janneke (Margarita Broich) and Paul Brix (Wolfram Koch) quickly establish a connection between Cara and Lucas – even if his mother tries everything to keep her son away from the investigation. Another track leads to the gaming scene. Mauersberger was active there and was threatened because of her feminist videos.

Jeanette Hain and Béla Gábor Lenz carry this “crime scene” with their acting performances. The two very convincingly embody a dysfunctional mother-son team. She, the mother lion, who wants to protect her child at all costs and doesn’t want to let go. He, the young up-and-coming artist who threatens to suffocate under all the love and control. “I have as much life of my own as your hollow plaster army,” the son throws at his mother in one scene. An allusion to the art that Hain creates as sculptor Annette Baer in the film: faceless, white creatures.

The film (written and directed by Elke Hauck and Sven S. Poser) touches on too many topics and thus distracts from the actual focus: the pathological relationship between mother and son. That alone would have carried the story for over 90 minutes. Instead, it’s also about sexism in the gaming scene and problems between East and West Germany. All legitimate topics, but they should be developed in a separate film instead of just being touched on superficially like here.

Headstrong and independent – ​​this is how the commissioners experience the artist Annette Baer. The woman exerts a certain fascination, especially on Brix. The eternal bachelor muses that he would like to “lose control with someone” again. His colleague Janneke, on the other hand, seems to have arrived and is happy about her role as grandma – even if her grandson lives in Australia. At least she can take part in his baptism via video call.

Complicated family constellations may seem familiar to some viewers at Christmas. Being shown this in a crime thriller may not encourage everyone to tune in. Those who do will be rewarded with a complex story and excellent actors.

The Frankfurt commissioners Anna Janneke and Paul Brix also investigated these cases: