Dear Child is a six-part German-language psychological thriller based on the harrowing story of Lena, who and her two children break free after being held captive for 13 years.
The Netflix mini-series is based on Roman Hausman’s novel of the same title. It shows the aftermath of the crimes and the trauma, Lena and her children endured following their freedom.
It revolves around Lena, Hannah, Jasmin, and Jonathan, whose roles grow darker, hinting at a deeper connection to their captor. When Lena is able to escape, she becomes the victim of a car hit-and-run and ends up in hospital with Hannah.
Towards the end of the series, Jasmin is able to escape after smashing her captor in the face with a snow globe.
While the Germans aren’t exactly known for their good humor, the new thriller series from Germany (original title: Liebes Kind) shows the story across six grim episodes about the bond between a mother and her child even after years of trauma.
The ending of the series shows Jasmin playing along with Lars’ plan so she can kill him, as she no longer wants to live in fear. Eventually, Jasmin finally earns her freedom and moves on with Lars’ death.
In the Netflix series, Jasmin was kidnapped as a replacement for Lena Beck, who had died due to a postpartum infection after giving birth to the third of her children. It was the second child to be sired through rape by her kidnapper.
Dear Child slowly builds up the sinister “Papa,” as he appears in several scenes torturing Jasmin and the children. However, his face is never shown, and later it is revealed to be Lars Rogner.
He had a traumatic past as he was abandoned by his mother and raised by his grandparents as a child. Lars kidnapped Lena and held her captive as she was already pregnant and also kidnapped her because of a hookup with an ex-boyfriend. He kidnaps several women to replace Lena, but Jasmin proves to be his undoing as later revealed that Lena resembles Lars’ mother, who had left him for unknown reasons.
It is a terrifying mystery that lies at the heart of this psychological thriller, unraveling a terrible web of kidnapping, abduction, and abuse, throwing the viewer into a dark and disturbing labyrinth.
However, Dear Child is not based on a true story. Instead, it is an adaptation of a novel. The Netflix series is inspired by a stunning international bestseller by German author Romy Hausmann.
The Netflix series revolves around a woman ostensibly named Lena who has been held in captivity for 13 years, forced to raise two children, Hannah and Jonathan. While it is not based on any real-life characters, the story is fictionalized.
Their life is spent in confinement and isolation as they eat, sleep, and go to the toilet at prescribed times. The terror can be seen as the moment “he” enters the room, they must line up and show their hands.
Papa is the man who kidnapped them and has defined a detailed set of rules to maintain order. At the end of the show, it is revealed that Lars Rogner is the sinister man, aka ‘Papa’, who works in the security systems company owned by his grandfather. Apart from his mother abandoning him, nothing much has been revealed about his father.
Dear Child is currently streaming on Netflix.
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