• Hidden gems of 2019. (SBS On Demand)Source: SBS On Demand
Among the many superb series released this year, here is our selection of hidden gems from around the world, now streaming at SBS On Demand.
By
SBS Guide

12 Dec 2019 - 11:42 AM  UPDATED 13 Dec 2019 - 9:53 AM

Pros and Cons

Nina and Erik (Lene Maria Christensen and Lars Ranthe) live a peaceful family life, but something’s missing – the thrill of their past life as con artists. When a former co-conspirator brings them an offer, they’re tempted enough to risk it all and take it, hoping it will not only add some excitement to their lives, but also spice up their marriage. Things don’t exactly go to plan in this Danish comedy drama, co-created by Thor Bjørn Krebs and Mikkel Serup.

Watch Pros and Cons now streaming at SBS On Demand.


 

Gigantes

Abraham Guerrero (Jose Coronado) is a monster. Master of a drug trafficking business, he’s controlled his Madrid neighbourhood for decades. A smattering of words is ample to convey his often violent commands – filling the gaps between sparse dialogue is spine-tinglingly effective sound design. When it’s found the patriarch is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, only one of his three sons, raised from babyhood in the family business, can take his place, sparking a brutal war between them. This Spanish series is not for the faint-hearted.

Watch Gigantes at SBS On Demand.

 


 

M – The City Hunts A Murderer

Picking up on contemporary themes, this gruesome German series is set in Vienna in the dead of winter. A little refugee girl vanishes without a trace, then more children disappear, leaving the police helpless. Total surveillance, fake news and arbitrary arrests become the order of the day, the only focus on finding the killer. ‘M’ becomes a public case, the criminal underworld also taking up the search for the murderer. 

Watch M – The City Hunts A Murderer now at SBS On Demand.


 

Chimerica

Another series involving fake news, this ‘fictional story about real events’ centres on Lee Berger (Alessandro Nivola), a dedicated American photojournalist. When accusations of fake news are levelled against him, Lee attempts to reclaim his credibility by finding the subject of his most famous picture – that of the Tank Man of 1989’s Tiananmen Square massacre – he’s convinced the elusive Tank Man is alive and well, and living in New York City. This four-part thriller also stars Sophie Okonedo (Hotel Rwanda).  

Watch Chimerica is now streaming at SBS On Demand.


 

The Red Shadows

In this polished French crime drama, police officer Aurore (Nadia Farès) is haunted by a cold case – as a five-year-old, her sister Clara (Manon Azem) was abducted, the kidnappers demanding a high ransom in exchange for her release. In the botched exchange, the girls’ mother is killed and Clara goes missing, an event that’s not been forgotten in the wine region’s close-knit community. Twenty-five years on, Aurore finds clues that her sister may be alive, living under an assumed identity. With a young daughter of her own, Aurore dedicates herself to finding Clara, revealing long buried family secrets along the way.

Watch The Red Shadows at SBS On Demand.


 

Raven

When a young man murders his grandfather, detective Adam Kruk (Michał Żurawski) returns to Bialystok in eastern Poland to investigate. Demons flock back to haunt him – he grew up in the town’s orphanage alongside his friend Slawek (Cezary Lukaszewicz), who was sexually abused there. Both men are destroyed in different ways from their past. Slawek compels Kruk to investigate the orphanage, leading him to discover links between the two cases. Kruk’s drug-induced hallucinations make for an element of magic realism in this series that verges on horror. 

Watch Raven at SBS On Demand.


 

Asylum City

When a pro-asylum seeker activist turns up dead in Tel Aviv, police detective Anat Sitton (Hani Furstenberg) investigates. The murdered woman happened to encounter the underground mob lending money to stateless immigrants just days before her death. Sitton soon realises the mob has links to much higher realms of politics. Shot on location in South Tel Aviv, Asylum City is based on the bestselling novel by Israeli author, Liad Shoman.  

Watch Asylum City now at SBS On Demand.


 

54 Hours

Based on a true story that shocked Germany at the time for its ensuing police incompetence and scandalous meddling by media, this drama recreates a 1988 armed bank robbery that veered well off course. The two gangsters take a busload of passengers hostage, sparking a manhunt in which live television played a disastrous role, including putting to air interviews with the criminals and hostages. The heat of summer adds its own layer of oppression to the mess that unfolds.

Watch 54 Hours at SBS On Demand.


 

8 Days

Seen from the viewpoint of an ordinary Berlin family, this series asks, what would you do if you only had eight days to live? The action ramps up quickly as a meteorite on a collision course with Earth leaves the chances of Europe surviving at zero. The impending catastrophe sets in motion a turning of the tables, comfortable Westerners instantly becoming desperately fleeing refugees.

Watch 8 Days now at SBS On Demand.


 

An Ordinary Woman

Anna Mikhalkova glues us to the screen in her role as ordinary woman, Marina. Running her flower shop in Moscow while raising her daughter, Marina’s set up the veneer of a benign family life. But secrets she holds aplenty; her side hustle – and main revenue stream – is her clandestine network of prostitutes. You’ll be riveted watching how Marina copes as her carefully constructed house of cards begins to collapse around her.

Watch An Ordinary Woman now at SBS On Demand.

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