Germany in 2029 is not a very nice place to live. A right-wing populist government is in power and is increasingly suppressing freedom of expression in the country. The investigative journalist Johann Hellström (Tobias Moretti) also feels this when he is kicked out by his publisher for flimsy reasons. In this bleak future, independent journalism can become almost fatal.

Hellström flees with his wife Lucia (Valery Tscheplanowa) to his luxurious holiday home on a lonely island in the Baltic Sea. But in this apparent idyll, the couple soon faces a completely different enemy. The explosive thriller “Das Haus” will be shown on Monday at 8:15 p.m. on 3sat as part of the competition for the 3sat audience award. A selection of the best TV films of the year will be shown there.

Hellström had a hypermodern smart home built. Here the doors open when called, in the morning there is a digital health check in front of the mirror, and the autonomous refrigerator reports to the grocer when the compartments are empty. This incredibly smart, new high-tech world is of course full of pitfalls. There are cameras all over the house that archive everything.

Soon there is suspicion and distrust between the spouses, later Hellström discovers an infidelity of his wife on a file. It seems as if the sophisticated technology in the house put him on this trail. Knowing every move of its occupants and collecting all data, this sophisticated luxury shed seems to have a life of its own. Hellstrom and Lucia, on the other hand, act more and more like marionettes hanging from invisible threads. The persecuted journalist only feels safe in the great outdoors, in the forest or in a kayak on the water.

Thriller with dystopian elements

Director Rick Ostermann (“Wolfskinder; “Das Boot”) has staged an oppressive thriller with dystopian elements. Based on a short story by journalist Dirk Kurbjuweit, his film creates a vision of a future in which external repression corresponds to smart digital control .

And at some point the two merge. “The supposed place of retreat, the holiday home, is actually an observer, ruler and controller. It captures – first in a positive sense, then in a frighteningly literal sense,” says Ostermann, according to the Arte press kit.

The situation escalates when Layla (Lisa Vicari) and Alex (Max von der Groeben), two young dissidents and suspected terrorists, seek refuge in the holiday home. Lucia openly sympathizes with the revolutionaries, while her husband Johann categorically rejects violence. The tensions between the spouses increase until both finally stand outside the door. A night in the woods around a campfire brings them closer together again, they plan their escape from Germany. But the catastrophe can no longer be stopped.