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Film Studies 101
Feature
The Killing: A Guide To Making A Crime Classic
The show's creator, Søren Sveistrup on the ingredients for his cult TV show

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5. The Politics

The third thread in The Killing’s knitwear pattern is its desire to locate personal crimes within a broader political context. Each series has raised the stakes on the party political subterfuge, starting with city hall, expanding to the justice department before going all the way to the prime minister by season three. “That’s why it’s a trilogy,” says Sveistrup. “It couldn’t move on. You would have to go to the Prime Minister of England or the President of the United States. It is a completely natural stopping point, I think.

The Killing

Clockwise from top. Season 1's mayoral candidate Troels Hartmann gets to know Sarah Lund. Season 3's embattled Prime Minister Kristian Kamper. Justice Minister Thomas Buch (centre) with his team in Season 2 of The Killing.

“The politics is exciting, especially in a genre like the thriller. There are a lot of hidden agendas so it comes natural to use politics. In politics, you also have a lot of idealism and the dangers of corruption. If I look at the three seasons, they are all about the same thing: the danger of you losing yourself, being compromised, trying to take the short cut — if you are a politician, if you are a detective, if you are a dad, you can lose yourself. You get very close to the abyss so take care you are not falling into the abyss.”

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