Fog and Crimes (Nebbie e Delitti) Season 2
Directed by Riccardo Donna.
Starring Luca Barbareschi, Natasha Stefanenko, Giuseppe Antignati, Gianluca Gobbi and Paulo de Vita.
A tough and resourceful homicide investigator struggles to keep work and personal life together in the Northern Italian city of Ferrara.
Focusing on fundamentally shady melodramatic goings-on in Northern Italy, Arrow Films latest offering on their noir sub-label goes to show that when it comes to high quality crime television it’s not all about the Scandinavian imports.
Following the exploits of the gifted and irascible Inspector Franco Soneri (Luca Barbaresci) in the melancholic marsh-lands surrounding the striking city of Ferrara, Fog and Crimes captures a sombre romanticism firmly present in all of the most memorable of mysteries.
Based on the best-selling novels of Velerio Varesi, the show takes on the classic format of one off cases with a continual development of the lead characters. Of these, all are impressively well drawn, although it is Soneri and his relationship with the Ukrainian born lawyer, Angela Cornelio (Natasha Stefanenko) that provide the bedrock for much of the continuing drama.
The distinctive mood and feel of Season One is continued adroitly, with the feature length episodes tackling such issues as deliberate hit and runs, high profile murders and war time memories of historic crimes all finding their place at the banks of the River Po. Intelligently put together and full of local insights, the stories provide a slew of surprises and tense guesswork.
Filmed on location in the atmospheric region of Emilia-Romagna, Soneri himself provides a distinctly Northern Italian counterpoint to the hot blooded pursuits of another Italian crime drama, the Sicilian fables of Inspector Montalbano (aired in the UK on BBC4). Whereas that show often plays a fascinating and idiosyncratic take on the crime drama with a distinctly Mediterranean flavour of the comic and grotesque, Fog and Crimes is more classically nourish and no less entertaining for that. Seek it out, but make sure to bring an umbrella and flash-light.
Robert W Monk is a freelance journalist and film writer