What would Germany be without the Oktoberfest? Definitely not worse off, I’d say. Under most circumstances, I couldn’t be tempted to watch a historical drama series with the Oktoberfest as a backdrop, but the Munich Wiesn innkeepers’ irate responses to the series have piqued my interest. Apparently, they feel that the Wiesn is hallowed ground and that its past and present virtue must not be disgraced. So lo and behold and without further ado, I present Oktoberfest Beer and Blood.
“The lynching of my son has shown me that what happens to any of us
anywhere in the world had better be the business of us all.”
Mamie Till-Bradley in Till
The name Till is one that most Americans and many people around the world will recognize from their civil rights history lessons. In 1955, while visiting family, Emmett Till, a 14-year-old boy from Chicago, was brutally beaten and murdered for allegedly flirting with and whistling at a married white woman near Money, Mississippi. His bloated body was later found in the Tallahatchie River.
I must admit that when I first heard about the film Till, it immediately sparked my curiosity. Yes, I thought. The heinous crime that caused a media frenzy and galvanized the civil rights movement needs to be brought to new generations. But wait. We live in an age of trigger warnings (statements that alert readers or viewers to potentially disturbing content) and audiences with a heightened sensitivity to violence. So how can film director Chinonye Chukwu draw viewers to movie theaters and simultaneously do justice to the brutality of that crime?
It also intrigued me that Chukwu placed Emmett Till’s mother, Mamie Till-Bradley, in the film’s center. If she’s mentioned at all in American history textbooks, it’s mainly to recognize the role she played in the decision to show the world what Southern hatred looked like. She was the driving force to ensure an open casket at Emmett Till’s funeral. So what does the film reveal that most history books do not?
Whenever I talk to people about Valentine’s Day, I get some sort of hateful response. It’s only about money. You’re forced to buy something for your significant other or they’ll be mad. It’s more romantic to show your love every day in small gestures rather than doing so only one day a year. And it’s all just a devious plan of the industry, trying to sell heart-shaped food, flowers, and other festive nonsense.
Is that the truth or can Valentine’s Day be something more? As a fan of spreading love and appreciation, I want to investigate this further. What are the roots of Valentine’s Day? And how can we escape all this negativity and make it an enjoyable day?
Vladimir the Small, as history is sure to remember him, has pulled the iron curtain off the trash pile and ordered it rehung. His security blanket. Thirty years exposed to Western ideas of choice – enough of that. Obedience or destruction, enough choice for his people.
The Marshall Plan has become synonymous for massive help, for bringing about a herculaneum task and having a country rise again from the ashes. Originally designed to help Europe get back on track after the devastations of World War II, it has a much broader meaning today. In discussions about how to rebuild Ukraine at some point in the future, there’s again talk of the need for a Marshall Plan. However, it’s worthwhile to take a step back and look at what the original Marshall Plan was all about.
Granted, Babylon Berlin has at its disposition all the means necessary to become a true blockbuster. But it isn’t every day the viewer gets to experience just how phenomenally a big budget can be spent on a TV series – without compromises between bombastic montages and cinematography for lovers, between fast-paced story development and credibly complex characters, that is.
For Babylon Berlin, produced in Germany by German production companies, the commitment to an unflinching and unreserved depiction of a nation on the verge of fascism pays off. As a bit of an inside tip, the show’s spectacular efforts are appreciated far beyond its country of origin, as demonstrated by almost exclusively glowing U.S. reviews.