I’ve posted before about the fantastic French crime series, Spiral, which is currently in its third series on our screens. This current series is the most gripping and absorbing yet. It is a runaway mix of fraud, deception, blackmail, jealousy, exploitation and abuse of power. It’s all shades of grey and moral relativities.
Obviously the criminals are morally bankrupt, but much more fascinating is the way the police, the investigating prosecutors, the defence lawyers and all their employees transgress all the usual norms of integrity and professionalism to secure the results they seek. Without exception. Even the characters who appear to retain a semblance of moral authority cave in and become complicit at some point in the nefarious doings of their colleagues.
It is extraordinary television, and I am so obsessed by it I have (unusually for me) found the time to watch back-to-back episodes I have missed over the last fortnight.
I realise of course that my fascination is because my practice over the last few years has focussed a great deal on this question of relative perspectives and challenging assumptions about who people are and what they do. Spiral may be fictitious, but it is only stretching to limit alternative perspectives and assumptions on the nature and morality of law enforcement.
Who are the ‘baddies’? Who are the ‘goodies’? In my Allegory of Realities 2009 I was exploring some of the upside-down topsy-turvy consequences of the global banking crisis. Yobs vandalising bank premises hailed as heroes. The police in full riot gear hailed as thugs. A complete inversion of ‘normality’.
This third series of Spiral is going to be ending far too soon.