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Mammon (MHz Releasing/DVD/2014)



 
Norway is at it again! As with much of the television shows MHz Releasing has shipped over from the Nordic countries (Norway, Sweden, Denmark,), this one from 2014, “Mannon,” is right up there with their release of “The Half-Brother,” “The Killing,” and “Borgen.”

“Mammon” is defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as “wealth ill-used or ill-gained.” Or “devotion to the pursuit of riches.”

The six-hour-long episodes, of which this is apparently Season One, were created by Gjermund Eriksen and Vegard Eriksen Stenberg. The writing is top-drawer, which has allowed the series director, Cecilie A. Mosli, full-range for her cast, headed up by Jon Øigarden as Peter Verås, an investigatory reporter for an important daily newspaper.

But when he and his colleagues begin deep-searching into two generations of financial scandal, forced suicides, kidnappings and murders which have involved the highest echelons of economic universities, the police, well-placed governmental ministers, as well as other journalists and editors, covering much of the Norwegian ruling elite, their own lives are in danger.

This is a political thriller, harder for outsiders to follow, I fear, but exciting film-making anyway. Certainly, getting to see the infrastructure of Oslo and other Norwegian cities: the buildings, the trains, planes and freeways, etc., is as fascinating as the political shenanigans uncovered by our intrepid reporters and editors, often at their own great personal peril. For instance, when Verås is hot on the trail of the villains, he is set up for arrest for financial improprieties and then for murdering his ex-wife, who is a genius at deciphering Internet protocol, while his nephew is held for emotional ransom by the brains and money behind the deeply-rooted corruption of the society and the government.

This is one of those seated-at-the-edge-of-one’s-couch experiences, awaiting new and outrageous fits of fury from those most in danger of exposure, jail or death. You won’t be bored, that’s for sure. And it’s more proof of the value of MHz Releasing’s importation of these kinds of shows.