Streaming technology has facilitated the global distribution of foreign-language shows such as Netflix's Dark. The worldwide popularity of Dark, the streaming giant's first original series made in Germany, raises questions about Netflix's business strategy of producing “local stories with global appeal” as well as the international allure of German culture today. This article examines how Dark's pop-cultural engagement with nuclear power connects to Germany's post-war policies on atomic energy and the circulation of the country's sustainability politics on the international stage. The show's particular blend of local and global aesthetics of nuclear power, sustainability, and climate change demonstrates how German culture is now viewed as a fitting medium to reveal, correspond to, and have an impact on today's zeitgeist globally. It also signals a shift in the dynamic between local and global media forms, and thus German film.
Annika Orich is an Assistant Professor of German at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Her scholarship on twentieth- and twenty-first-century German culture explores the political, social, and artistic fault lines of science and art, histories of migration, and national identity and cultural belonging. She is completing a book manuscript about cultural anxieties concerning assisted reproductive technologies in biology and the arts. Recent publications include “Archival Resistance: Reading the New Right” (German Politics and Society, 2020).