The book , the film sequence from Netflix and the various national editions of the film sequence are together a complex collection of material that, believe me will take lots of time to unravel. This is especially true for Americans only vaguely familiar with spring 1929 in Berlin. It is that spring before the Stock Market crash of 1929 and just before Hitler made a full court press.
To begin with Netflix, apparently buying the right to novel” Babylon Berlin” contracted with a German firm to do the film. For now we will assume that Netflix was not involved in the sounds and/or some of the filming that made up each of the 16 video sessions that were recorded and played on a rigorous schedule in Germany and in Great Britain. Now you can witch all 16 sessions with English subtitles in about 15 hours of eye blinking fascination.
What is almost certain is that the words and sounds that came forth in Great Britain and Germany and the USA are in some way different. The German version was for Germans. They viewed it with all the insights that came down through their family so many years ago. They see and think they saw 1929 and the coming WW II. It is played in German. There is no need for translation. Subtitles, humor and German idioms are picked up by most (but not all) Germans in a certain way
The Brits were not so kindly to what happened in 1929 with Adolph beginning to raise his head with some shouting “watch out for the reds” Others in Great Britain were saying that Adolph was one bad dude. They too have their grandparent’s tales and diaries that put another spin on the show.
In the USA there was a mindset that was far different from that had by the Germans and the British. We were an ocean away from Europe’s problems and as 1929 dawned we wanted to stay out of European affairs and yet as we watch the show we know that we indeed would get dragged in and our WWII stories would be remembered and told. But we knew very little about a Germany working its way out of the catastrophe of WWI.
We then have the book “Babylon Berlin” which is supposedly the book upon which all three film versions were based. However while the character names are the same the sequence of chapters in the English translation of the German Book by Niall Sellar does not follow the film nor does the book follow the movie.
Stay tuned as we unwrap these mysteries and be sure to let us n=know your findings and insights as you discover them or think them through.
We of course will be with you on a regular basis. We may be a bit technologically rough as we begin this blog but it will get better as we gain insight how best to communicate with you.