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Public Enemy
Public Enemy “The hugely successful Belgian series
  Public Enemy Season One sees a young
  female detective investigating a case
  where a convicted child-killer has been
  released on parole to the custody of
  monks at an abbey only for a young girl
  to disappear from a nearby village

CONVICTED OF MURDERING CHILDREN and considered highly dangerous, Guy Béranger (Angelo Bison) has spent twenty years in prison two thirds of his sentence before being released on parole to the custody of the monks at Vielsart Abbey.

Detective Inspector Chloe Muller (Stephanie Blanchoud) is sent from Brussels to oversee the operation, to work with the chief officer Michael Charlier (Jean-Jaques Rausin). Chloe is tormented by her tragic childhood when her younger sister disappeared and she is also under investigation for shooting someone in the course of her duties.

Public Enemy
an outstanding and
darkly mesmerising foray
into the depths
of a village where secrets
abide and into the
sinister mind of a serial
child killer...”
Dubbed The Eye of Nivellles due to the strange markings he carved into his victim's bodies, Public Enemy Number One Béranger was arrested in 1994, having terrorised Belgium in the 90s. The villagers are incensed to have a child murderer so close and his gruesome, apparently ritualistic, killings are still fresh in their minds.

Opinion is divided even in the abbey, where some monks want to help Béranger and others resent him being there. On entering the abbey Frere Lucas (Clément Manuel) becomes responsible for Béranger and Chloe and Michael are there to ensure his safety.

Chloe stays in one of the cells at the abbey, which is surrounded by thick woodland and has only two entrances; one is permanently locked, the other is well guarded. Although Béranger is not locked in, he cannot get out of the abbey without being seen.

Among the frightened and angry villagers, Patrick Stassart (Philippe Jeusette), Lucas's brother, is having financial problems. He and his wife Judith (Laura Sepul), a doctor, have a son Emile (Lucas Jacquemin), who has learning difficulties and is very ill.

Emile's friends are Michael's son Jonathan (Igor Van Dessel), Bastien (Timothée Coetsier) and Noémie Van Assche (Elsa Houben). They tolerate Laurent Vendonck (Nissan Renard), a cruel bully whose parents, Lana (Joanne Dandoy) and Eddy (Olivier Bonjour), have a volatile and violent marriage.

Lucas and Patrick's brother Vincent (Vincent Londez) is a poacher who uses Gregoire Malempré (Blaise Ludik), whom he bullies. The brothers were brought up to hunt and carry guns; and when they were young there was a tragic accident to which Lucas owned up.

Noémie takes off in the middle of the night and disappears, leading the villagers to believe that Béranger has been able to get out of the abbey and has struck again.

Despite his conviction, Béranger is entitled to protection and Chloe is determined to make sure the villagers don't take the law into their own hands as some of the men intend to do.

Haunted by her sister's disappearance, Chloe begins to piece together evidence with Michael, including a picture drawn by Noemie of her with a man with a stag's head — an image that the strange and reclusive Marianne Demaree (Dominique Grosseant) tells her depicts Cernunnes, the God of the Forest. Then Laurent disappears; and Bastien and Jonathan are in grave danger.

If not Béranger, who is is abducting the children? The clues come thick and fast, but where does Chloe draw the line? Did Béranger somehow escape or is there a copycat — could it be a monk, one of the villagers or even a child? As Chloe's investigations continue, she uncover the secrets and fears of the apparently peaceful community.

Chloe, Michael and Lucas have to deal with a mob wanting to take Beranger out permanently and an abbey facing closure with the monks desperate to preserve its reputation, while Chloe works through the ghosts of her past that may be closer than she thinks.

A huge success in Belgium, Public Enemy (Ennemi Public) won the first MipDrama Screenings Coup de Coeur Award at Cannes in 2016. The series is not always easy watching but is an outstanding and darkly mesmerising foray into the depths of a village where secrets abide and into the sinister mind of a serial child-killer who seems to want to find peace within. Or does he?

Public Enemy also features: Sylvain Dai as Baptiste; Eric Godon as Etienne Gomez; Eric Lancin as Jean Decoster; Michel Israel as Abbe Martens; Laurent Caron as Frere Thomas; Daniel Hanssens as Frere Joseph, le prieur; Kris Cuppers as Koen Van Assche; and Sabine Vandersmissen as Cecile Van Assche.

Series Music is by Daniel Capelletti, Matthieu Frances and Lionel Vancauwenberge; Series Cinematography by Philippe Therasse; Written and Created by Antoine Bours, Gilles de Voghel and Matthieu Frances; Written by Fréderic Castadot, Michel Sabbe and Christopher Yates; Producers are: Isabel de la Serna and François Touwaide; Head of Production is Sebastian Schelenz; Series Directed by Matthieu Frances and Gary Seghers.

* Nordic Noir & Beyond is delighted to release the Belgian thriller Public Enemy (Complete Season One), as seen on Sky Atlantic, as a DVD Box Set in the UK on Monday 17 July 2017.

Product Information: Rating: 15 | Running Time: 522 Minutes Approximately / 10 Episodes | Language: French with English Subtitles | Catalogue Number: FCD1553.

"Public Enemy… an outstanding and darkly mesmerising foray into the depths of a village where secrets abide and into the sinister mind of a serial child-killer"
***** — Maggie Woods, MotorBar

"Absorbing and atmospheric" — Radio Times

"Intriguing" — The i Newspaper