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Thread: 'Babylon Berlin' on Netflix

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    'Babylon Berlin' on Netflix

    If you were wondering if there is another series to watch that is on the elite level of the Sopranos, Deadwood, Breaking Bad, The Wire, Madmen, True Detective or the Leftovers... you are in luck.

    Babylon Berlin is a brilliant German made dark pseudo-detective noir period piece that takes place during the Weimar years in Berlin. If you appreciated the amazing attention to detail of Deadwood or Madmen this will titillate you. If the rich serious character acting and the mood of the Sopranos or True Detective grabbed you, prepare to get absorbed. This is a well-paced captivating production that mixes fact and fiction, mystery and suspense, complex character study and relationship voyeurism, all in a richly detailed cultural and historical backdrop. The best I can comparatively describe it? Imagine the movie Cabaret mixed with True Detective and The Singing Detective (if anyone ever saw that awesome ~10 hour BBC show).

    The mood, authentic feel, acting, subtle details, storyline, sets and even soundtrack done by Bryan Ferry (Roxy Music, etc), range from noteworthy to epic. Like all the great shows mentioned almost every detail has purpose in understanding something about the place, story, the person, history, relationships, or something. Overall, there is a lot going on. A bulk of it takes place in liberal leaning Berlin, which happens to be at the center of a wide-ranging and quite nuanced cultural and political era in Germany and all of Europe. The Post WW1 realities have not faded the way they did here, yet the roaring 20's and America's cultural influence is at play. We get glimpses of the people of Berlin becoming more progressive, culturally avant-garde, often sexy, sometimes decadent, and generally all jazzed-up. Amidst it all are numerous complex factions at work politically, for power and money. The various right wing groups clashing with each other, the moderates and the far left, particularly the worker party communists adds to the ominous confusion.

    The first episode taking place in the beginning of 1929, right smack in the middle of the Weimar period (1919 to 1933). There are 16 parts and by the last episode we still have not hit the Oct stock market crash, yet so much is happening. And so much is about to occur, for there is always a foreboding aura knowing the chaos to come. Thankfully, plans to take this show past 1929 have been finalized, given the viewer demand both inside and outside of Germany. Not wanting to spoiling anything, I won't describe it further.

    Lastly, I wrote this post this morning, in part because it was captivating and I just finished watching it. However, a big part of it is the growing nationalistic and fascistic tones of this administration in describing its political enemies, including the grotesquely awkward utterances just before, during and now after Kavanaugh's swearing in. These days enemies of the state are anybody who isn't an ardent supporter of Trump. This includes not just most minorities, the poor, environmentalists, many with health conditions, democrats and other likely targets. Today even independents, conservatives, free-traders, some republicans, those who dedicate their life to the FBI or Justice Dept, people who live in the Northeast or west coast, among others are suspect Americans. Not to mention our foreign neighbors and allies.

    Babylon Berlin primarily is entertainment and does not set out to be important. However, there are so many accurate, similar or metaphorical historic references that it is very important. Truly a much watch.

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    I'll check it out, as we essentially live in a mild Weimar Western Civilization, but I'd really suggest that people don't view shows like this as remotely factual or indicative of the actual time period.

    I just finished William L. Shirer's Rise and Fall for the 3rd time and nothing, nothing nothing nothing, we see today even remotely compares to the gansterism and evil of the Nazi Party.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dunny View Post
    I'll check it out, as we essentially live in a mild Weimar Western Civilization
    That alone makes it worth watching. Will you watch alone or will the wife join? Mine loved it. It is racy, if that's OK with you.

    but I'd really suggest that people don't view shows like this as remotely factual or indicative of the actual time period.
    There are not any"shows like this", which is part of what makes it so compelling. This is as close as you will get to the Weimar republic and life in Berlin, then any film or series you've seen. The details of the period were acutely researched. It's a German production, not Hollywood. Historic events and actual historic figures are a part of the backdrop. There is a shot with the actual newspaper from 1929, important paintings are part of the story, even famous buildings and other artifacts are represented. The portrayal of actual political groups from communists, to the Trotskyists, to the various right wing groups and the Black Reichswehr will keep you on your toes. The narrative takes some liberties. Chunks of the story are complete fiction surrounded by authenticity. Some historic events happened a few years earlier than the show depicts and it is not always trying to be historically precise. But so what, this isn't a documentary. You'll have to watch, I don't want to spoil, and we'll talk after. I'd love to hear your thoughts.

    I just finished William L. Shirer's Rise and Fall for the 3rd time and nothing, nothing nothing nothing, we see today even remotely compares to the gansterism and evil of the Nazi Party.
    What is cool about that book is it reads like a journalists account of Hitler and the rise of the Nazi party, versus a historian's analysis. Access to all that correspondence helps create that reporting feel. I'd occasionally get lost with all the names and such, I can see why you reread it. I should do the same. Glad to see a reader on this board, cause that is not a book, but a tome.

    That book portrays darkness, evil, and violence so I get why you say that. However, understanding the setting in pre Nazi Germany from many other non-Nazi perspectives, sheds new/additional light. The book also covers appeasement as opposing leaders in Germany and in other countries, looked away as long as their own nationalistic or personal interest were not sacrificed.

    There are so many lessons, but let's assume this oversimplification: By 1934 it was too late, at least for the opposition within Germany. Essentially there is reason to examine from every angle, the years 1918 to 1933. In Germany and Europe. As you said, there are parallels.

    Beyond that Dunny, the next rise of fascism will take a different form and emerge with different players. It is the slow walk to fascism that we see now. Create discontent and division, even after an election. Create cover and space for the breeding nationalistic fervor and dogma. Villify the press to create complete mistrust. Target the press and the opposition, utilize us vs them tactics. Describe the opposition as an unpatriotic mob and dehumanize them. Create fear and bogeymen. Blame anyone that isn't an ardent supporter, for the ills of society. Blame minority groups for some form of discrimination and/or hardship. Discard the value of truth. Lie, create propagandist lies and find communication outlets to advocate for the state or corrupt power. Always engaging in financial impropriety. Weaken ties with strong allies of the past. It goes on and on.

    As a good republican or conservative (I imagine, not claiming to understand your political beliefs) you have to be concerned with some of what you see developing in America. Are you Canadian? An American citizen? Curious? Sorry, if I should know.

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