Udo Flohr’s German-language period drama, Effigy – Poison And The City, is set in 1820s Bremen, Germany, and based on actual events, it weaves together several social and economic issues of that time accented with a murder mystery.
First, industrial progress threatens the quiet, scenic German port city of Bremen. The rest of the world is embracing the new era building railroads allowing citizens to travel across the country at a whopping eight MPH. Senator Droste (Christoph Gottschalch) implores the mayor to consider developing the nearby marshlands for railways as there is a great deal of money to be made. In opposition, is Kapitän Ehlers (Roland Jankowsky), who is a leader for the port businesses threatened by railway commerce.
“…the victims die from food laced with ‘mouse butter,’ which is cheese mixed with arsenic…”
Then there is newly appointed city clerk Cato Böhmer (Elisa Thiemann). Her arrival is less-than-welcome, and she has to fight for respect and tear down gender stereotypes continually thrown at her by her male counterparts…who am I kidding, they’re all male at City Hall. She always takes the initiative to complete tasks not offered to her, while her superiors “wait for a man” to come, which they never do.
Lastly, and most importantly, there’s a crime in the city of Bremen…a serial killer, if you will. People are dropping like flies, and the central suspect is Gesche Gottfried (Suzan Anbeh). As the victims die from food laced with “mouse butter,” which is cheese mixed with arsenic and sold in shops to kills rodents, the evidence appears to show that Gottfried is strangely connected to the victims in some way.