I sat last night and watched late-night on ZDF (Channel Two from German public TV). The documentary piece? "Europe and the Refugees". It was an independent 'film' which looked at the 2015 and how the refugee crisis fully developed. I would have to admit, it's the most even-handed explanation detailed out on German public TV since the crisis period started in 2013.
The journalist in charge of the effort....Katja Nellissen....did a four-star effort in telling the story, with full-up interviews with print-media journalists, a number of political figures, and some university professors. She compacted it down into a forty-five minute piece.....which might be the only weakness to the film (she might have had two hours of real material). The thing is....it was on at roughly 10:15PM at night. You can take a wild guess but I doubt if there were more than 300,000 Germans who might have watched the show....out of eighty-two million.
What you get, which I've pointed dozens of times....is a chaotic group of characters from Berlin (the Chancellor and the group around her)....who were making up rules and exceptions as each day passed. There was no long-term strategy....no exit point....no corrective measures. It was a bad poker game where you just kept doubling down and thinking a better hand would come up sooner.....or later.
Chancellor Merkel in this film? My judgement would be that she comes across in a negative way, and for some....if they watched it.....they would not be happy with her performance. Showing the film four weeks prior to the election? This is the odd part of this story. Maybe if the SPD's candidate were neck and neck with Merkel....this would have helped him to some degree.
It's probably the first time in three years that I've seen a segment on German public TV that really drilled down into the topic and laid out all the pieces to the crisis. There are lessons learned, and maybe that's what you can take out of this documentary.