Serbian scientist Nikola Tesla became a cultural reference. Even the most modern cars in the world bear his name. Although it has been ignored for decades. His merits have been attributed to other scientists, notably the American Thomas Alva Edison, who was his employer when he arrived as an immigrant in New York and a man with many means at his disposal to succeed in the closely related world of patents. this work.
History repeats itself with German scientists Dare to Condemn the Giant Google in 2014He accused him of violating a patent for a technological pattern that they created during the 1990s in Berlin. They claimed that their project is almost unknown Terravision, is a predecessor of Google Earth. His judicial confrontation and struggle to launch a visionary idea in a country with a recently fallen dividing wall, and a limited ability to imagine a newly launched future, now inspire a story based on those events. The code that was worth millions It is a German four-part series created by Oliver Seigenberg, directed by Robert Thalheim, and now available on Netflix.
In this novel, two men, Carsten Schlütter and Jorie Muller, set up a complex judicial process with their attorneys that will take them to Delaware (US), while recalling the story of their friendship and great common achievement. Both characters are texts of real people: art teacher Joachim Jump And artist Gerd Grones in the case of Karsten, tech geniuses Pavel Mayer and Axel Schmidt, in Gorey. All of them acted as consultants for this production.
Despite the size of his lawsuit, hardly anyone knows about the judicial process. Not even in his native Germany. Was it difficult for you to find information about the case on Google? Ziegenbalg, one of the series’ creators, ironically asks during its world premiere. At the Zurich Film Festival. In fact, he learned of the story himself when he attended a barbecue that one of his neighbors invited to attend in Berlin. At one point, his host explained that he sued Google for compensation amounting to several hundred million euros. That neighbor was art teacher Joachim Sutter and wasn’t telling a joke as he first thought.
They were people who trusted that the digital revolution would build a more just and democratic world. But nothing happened as we dreamed.
Robert Thalheim, series director
Like Tesla and the founders of Terravision, Ziegenbalg had to confront the complex of being a European innovator versus a powerful United States. “I thought it was an interesting story to shoot, but I figured it was one of those productions that could only be done in Hollywood, not in Germany. One day, I talk to Robert [Thalheim, el director de la serie]He made me see that we could say that.” With the script already prepared, they had to wait for the trial to finish, in 2016, to start production. When it was proposed, Netflix immediately approved the project. The main cast is played by actors known to a part of the international audience, such as Mark I complain, the villain darkThe great German success of Netflix; Michal Maticevic, the gangster from Babylon Berlin; And Lavinia Wilson, a spy Germany 86, Who this time plays the role of the lawyer representing the two friends in court.
The story is also the story of global disappointment. “That was one of the interesting things about the story. The viewer would not expect the algorithm to lead to such valuable things, moreover, it was born in a place like Germany,” says Thalheim. Would Reed Hastings have succeeded if he had invented Netflix in Germany at the time? “It was difficult for him, although he is a very decisive man,” Zigenbalg replies with a laugh.
The series is set in part in the effervescent Berlin of the 1990s, where both the director and head of the series grew up. It’s where things go like when its citizens voted at the end of September in favor of forfeiting 240,000 homes in the hands of big business or protesting in 2018 until Specifically prevent Google from installing the technology campus In the already renovated district of Kreuzberg. The city is, without fear of clichés, yet another character in this story, as Thalheim admits: “In Berlin at that time, where freedom came suddenly, you could feel that we are all the same and that you could become an inventor if you wished. And this group of scholars was The computer is confident that the digital revolution will build a more just and democratic world. But nothing has happened as we dreamed.”
To set up the series, its creators became “prospectors, snooping on more than 3,000 pages of trial scripts,” Zigenberg recalls. But the friendship between its two protagonists, two men who complement each other in their differences and help each other to be the best version of themselves, and whose main resource is making a story based on something as abstract as an algorithm. Full of legal techniques. The fact that Ziegenbalg has a twin brother whose parents were raised as if they were Siamese and the good relationship he maintains with Thalheim helped the creators craft male intimacy on paper upon which part of the plot is based. “It was these two people who made the story emotional. Everyone knows what Google is, but having the opportunity to narrate the development of a personal relationship of this kind over time makes the story known to viewers around the world,” both said.
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