New German TV series casts fictitious glimpse into Berlin’s gang underbelly

SHOWS: BERLIN, GERMANY (TNT) – A new German TV series has set out to tell the story of gang life in one of Berlin’s roughest neighbourhoods.

‘4 Blocks,’ premiering on May 8 on the Time Warner-owned cable and satellite television channel TNT, digs into hardship and crime in Neukoelln, a quickly gentrifying district of the German capital known for its large population of Turkish, Arab and Kurdish residents.

The series follows protagonist Toni played by Kida Khodr Ramadan, an actor originally of Lebanese descent known for his roles on German television as well as in the renowned German film ‘Tough Enough,’ which also takes place predominantly in Neukoelln.

Ramadan’s character struggles with the day-to-day business of an Arabic clan. The protagonist is eager to leave the streets behind, but Neukoelln won’t let him.

The TV series also stars German rappers Massiv and Veysel, and Frederick Lau, who audiences will likely remember from a lead in the acclaimed film ‘Victoria’.

Producer Quirin Berg, who was also behind the Oscar-winning German drama ‘The Lives of Others,’ said witnessing ‘4 Block”s Berlin premiere was so stirring that he has “rarely experienced something like that”.

‘4 Blocks’ will be shown in Germany exclusively on TNT. Producers revealed to Reuters TV the rights had been purchased to be aired internationally, but would not yet say when and by whom.