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The Investigation: why my drama about Kim Wall doesn’t name her killer

Tobias Lindholm disliked the media circus that followed the murder of the journalist onboard a submarine in Denmark. Instead, his new series tells the story of the police, the divers and her family

Had I known how demanding it would be to make my drama series The Investigation, I am not sure I would have done it. But I’m proud I did. Kim Wall was a Swedish journalist and her murder, onboard a submarine in Denmark in 2017, led to a media circus. The Danish press seized on it: there was an obsession with the darkness of what happened, with so many theories flying around. Much of the focus was on the perpetrator.

All this made me turn away from the story. Knowing that I was a film-maker, parents I’d meet would say: “Wow, what a story – that would make a great movie.” I thought: “Would it?” Here’s a story we’ve heard many times before in fiction, revolving around a man who kills a woman. The name Kim Wall was barely mentioned by the press, compared with the name of the culprit.

It was only later, when I met Jens Møller, chief of homicide with the Copenhagen police, that I got a different perspective. Initially, I was interested in speaking to him about a Chechen-Belgian terrorist who had blown himself up in Denmark. But, over coffee, Jens ended up telling me a different story, about “the submarine case” [Wall was originally thought to have died in an accident while interviewing the vessel’s owner, who claimed he had buried her at sea. The police didn’t believe him and, 10 days later, her torso was found washed ashore.]

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