I rarely mention movies on my blog. Last year I talked about Borat Subsequent Moviefilm and pretty much that’s it. Now I’m going to talk about Comrade Detective, it’s an older series from 2017, but so worth watching. I will not give out spoilers, but I will talk about some small things from the series, to emphasize why I liked it so much.
Comrade Detective is a parody resembling a gritty 1980s Romanian police show that was made with Communist ideals. Detectives Gregor Anghel and Joseph Baciu are investigating the murder of fellow officer Nikita Ionescu as their work takes them to discover a plot to destroy Romania by its greatest enemy: Capitalism.
“You don’t become a good communist by going to the meetings… or memorizing the manifesto… you do it with your fist.”
Each character is played by a Romanian actor and an English-language voice actor. The show was first filmed using Romanian actors speaking Romanian, before being over-dubbed in English. The translations into English are accurate and the series was filmed in Romania.
It looks very much like a communist propaganda movie as there are a lot of assumptions on what happens in US, how Americans looked like and what they ate, and what happened in a religious service, as nobody actually knew. In the series, the cars were “the best in the world” even though it was the need to have a toolkit in the boot for emergencies, the medical system was “the best in the world” even though it consisted of iodine dressing. The food mentioned is also similar to what was eaten and still is, tripe soup and bean soup, which, you might guess it by now, was “the best in the world”.
In a scene, a couple of soap bars are left on the blanket for police officers to see in a check. In the series the officers are not accepting bribes, of course. But, in reality, this is how bribes were given to the police officers. The items were left somewhere very visible and if the officer wanted (they usually did), they would take those items. If not, the person giving the bribe was not risking a lot as they didn’t actually say anything or tried to hand over anything. It was so realistic and so well made.
In another scene they look at a Monopoly game and they talk about the greed behind it, as to win a player needs to get all the money, all the property. This is only a small part of American and Capitalist greed, of course. There are many things to look at, the casual attitude towards police brutality, for example.
I loved this series so much because it shows in a realistic way how people lived, it shows how propaganda was like, and it shows that despite the communist detectives being so sure that they were on the “right side of history” it was anything but. I will watch this again as I am sure I missed something, for example, in the trailer they say that comrades are doing “whatever is allowed” to bring the murderer to justice… just before they are shown punching a suspect.