Ahh, the holidays. It’s a time for family, and family means siblings and all the fixin’s that come with them: the good, the bad, and the slamming of bedroom doors accompanied by childish screaming. Our siblings have ways of bringing out the best and the worst in us, and we wouldn't have it any other way. This month, Topic celebrates the dynamics of brotherly and sisterly love in all their dark, twisty glory with shows that nail these complicated relationships perfectly.
It’s always hard to feel you’ve let down a sibling, but for Police Chief Thomas Bethge, the guilt is tenfold and he’s been living with it for thirty years. That’s how long his sister’s disappearance has gone unsolved. Is her case related to a series of gruesome killings in the woods known as the Isefort murders? Can Bethge get results from an uncooperative local police force, seemingly more concerned with public appearances than finding out the truth? Perhaps determined rookie investigator Anne Bach can help. Inspired by a real criminal case that remained unsolved in Germany for nearly 30 years, Dark Woods taps into the enduring love between siblings and the devastation of loss.
Emma, Kitty and Eli, however different, have always been close. Like most siblings, they drive each other crazy and love each other fiercely. When they all find themselves back in (F&%king) Adelaide, Australia, and find out their mother is selling their childhood home, they realize that all the things (and people) they love are often the most difficult. F%#king Adelaide is equally f%#king heartwarming and hilarious.
Noa and Assaf are your typical teenage siblings: she largely ignores her little brother and he’s resentful that she treats him like a little kid. However, atypical circumstances -- namely, Noa’s secret pregnancy, Assaf’s discovery of their family’s money issues, oh, and a group of masked intruders taking their family hostage by gunpoint -- force them to put aside their bickering and work together.
Maurice Teirlinck’s three grown daughters, Navy Officer Esther, widowed mother Britt, and irresponsible Alice, have their share of issues, including jealousy, betrayal, and a careless incident that ends in a horrible tragedy. But now that all three somehow keep seeing their father, recently dead by suicide, these problems pale in comparison. Suddenly, the Teirlinck sisters need to work though their deep-seeded resentment, resolve their issues, and figure out what is really going on.
Paul and Sali Aloka’s two teenage boys don’t always seem like brothers: Benjamin, their adopted son, is white and Noé, their biological son is Black. But it’s not just their skin color that sets them apart; Benjamin’s athletic and fun-loving while Noé is studious and serious. When an unexpected visit from Paul’s estranged father spurs Benjamin to seek out his biological parents, the brothers learn what really defines family.
Bonus: All In the Family
No rivalry here, at least as far as we can tell, but real life brothers Oscar Isaac and Mike Hernandez act together in The Letter Room, an Oscar®-nominated film in the Live Action Short Film category. The Letter Room follows an empathetic corrections officer (Isaac) who finds escape in the deeply personal letters written to an inmate on death row. Keeping with the family theme, the film is directed by Isaac’s real life wife, Elvira Lind.