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‘Sins of the Fathers’ preview – file it under ‘one to watch’ – Entertainment Focus

There’s something quite gritty and sinister about a lot of crime dramas coming out of Eastern Europe lately – Croatia’s ‘Four Strangers’, also recently released as part of the Eastern European season. ‘East by Walter Presents, is a good example. This show from Poland has a similar feel.

If you want to avoid all spoilers, stop reading this article now.

As the title suggests (the original title in Polish is “Odwróceni. Ojcowie i córki”), it’s a story of fatherhood and how the decisions of one generation can impact the next. In this case, it is the decisions of a former police commissioner, Pawel Sikora, and those of a former criminal in the Polish mafia, Jan Blachowski (alias Blacha).

Sikora now spends most of her day caring for her grandson; while his daughter, Lidia, pursues her own criminals as a full-time police officer – including Blacha. Blacha’s daughter, Kaska, has just graduated from law school and tries to prove her father’s innocence, while battling her own drug problem.

Credit: Walter Presents

But it was the mysterious events of 2012 – when Sikora was cracking down on the mafia and using Blacha as an informant to secure convictions – that brought the two older men together again. Since then, Blacha has reinvented himself as a successful and feared businessman. But now rumors are circulating in the press about his involvement in a murder that took place many years before; and these rumors threaten to expose her and ruin Sikora’s reputation – not to mention endanger the lives of their two daughters.

The show – originally aired in 2019 – is actually a sequel to “Odwróceni”, a 2007 series that explains how the main protagonists arrived at their various situations. Maybe Walter Presents might have done better to show this series first to give a story.

I had to watch the opening episode twice to fully follow what was happening; it’s not an easy show to follow, for some reason. I don’t know if it’s the writing or the directing, but I found myself having to stop and replay various scenes. I don’t think it helped me to end up with very little empathy for any of the characters, none of whom are particularly endearing or likable.

Walter presents:
Credit: Walter Presents

Nonetheless, the series was nominated in the prestigious Best Fiction Series category at the Polish Films Awards, so it’s obvious it’s doing something right. Certainly the premise – how the decisions of two men affect their own daughter’s life many years later – is interesting and original. I suspect the opening episode suffered from having to explain much of the previous series’ story it’s based on – as a result it came across as disjointed and, as I said, difficult to follow.

Folder under “one to watch”, I think. I’m not totally sold after one episode, but hopefully subsequent episodes will allow the characters to develop and make it a more enjoyable journey.

Walter Presents: ‘Sins of the Fathers’ is available as a full box set on All 4 now.