Peak TV has had its share of murder mystery dramas. Shows like True Detective, Top of the Lake and The Killing — not to mention the likes of Law & Order: SVU and Twin Peaks — have made the “murdered girl” trope feel almost synonymous with must-see TV in the early 21st century. And now, Ciro Guerra, the director of the Oscar-nominated Embrace of the Serpent, is hoping to give that well-worn genre a new spin with Frontera verde (Green Frontier).
Set deep in the Amazon, on the border of Brazil and Colombia, the Netflix limited series follows a set of bizarre deaths that are being investigated by a young detective from Bogotá, Helena (Juana Del Río), and her partner, indigenous policeman Reynaldo (Nelson Camayo). When the two find that the corpse of a particular young woman has no signs of aging, they’ll uncover a mystery that has deep roots in indigenous mythology.
As you see in the show’s first teaser trailer, which plays like a colorized riff on Guerra’s own black-and-white Amazon-set drama, there is another story to be told here, one that involves Yua and Ushe (Miguel Dionisio Ramos and Angela Cano), two indigenous people who everyone calls “the eternals,” and their battle against Joseph (Bruno Clairefond), a foreigner who believes the native population is harboring an incredible secret.
Frontera verde, which boasts a stellar Colombian cast and crew, was created by Diego Ramírez Schrempp, Mauricio Leiva-Cock y Jenny Ceballos. Given his work in the Amazon, they recruited Guerra, who codirected the series with Laura Mora (Matar a Jesus) and Jacques Toulemonde (co-writer of Birds of Passage). With lush greenery and a feverish cinematography, the show looks to capture the dizzying legends of the indigenous people of the Amazon while tackling their very timely concerns regarding deforestation, drug trafficking and the continued clashes with the so-called modern world.
Frontera verde is available to stream on Netflix.