Here’s your weekly German media recommendation from Monoglot Anxiety. This time, it’s the TV series Babylon Berlin
The big-budget serial Bablyon Berlin has been called “Germany’s Game of Thrones,” but its no fantasy epic. The series is set in the twilight of the Weimar Republic, the fledgling German democracy established in the wake of WW1 that ultimately unraveled into fascism in the 1930s. The story starts out as a crime drama centered on junior police inspector Gereon Rath’s attempt to break up an extortion ring in Berlin. But the plot quickly spirals outward to follow important political events of the time, with a particular focus on the roles of communism and Soviet influence.
The series is often a visual spectacle, especially in its vibrant portrayals of the gilded-age excesses of the Weimar Republic’s upper crust.
You can watch the first 3 seasons of Babylon Berlin on Netflix (at least in the US).
One of the aspects of Babylon Berlin that I found most interesting is its setting in the Weimar Republic. The film portrayals of Germany I had previously encountered are all set either during one of the World Wars, during the Cold War, or in the 21st century. But the in-between time spanning the end of WW1 and the rise of National Socialism was basically a mystery to me. Watching the first few episodes of Babylon Berlin inspired me to read more about the Weimar Republic. But even if you’re not the type for deep Wikipedia dives, you can still enjoy taking in the historically-inspired setting.
That’s all for this week. Apologies again for the late newsletter. I’ll get back on track next week. So, until next Friday!
Elise from Monoglot Anxiety