“Oktoberfest 1900” – the battle for the world's largest folk festival

Gingerbread hearts at the Oktoberfest © katjen (shutterstock)

The Wiesn innkeepers have already upset. "Reputation-damaging" is the series. The spectators could believe that it was still so brutal today. The makers could not have wished for better advertising.

The men with their feathers and bast skirts on the Isar beach confuse you a bit at the beginning. A flashback to the time of the Bavarians? No, they did not look like those "savages" from the South Seas, from German Samoa. What this has to do with the Wiesn? Much. Because from 1875 onwards, ethnic shows with people from all over the world became more and more popular there, the last one, by the way, took place in 1959. Such "cannibals" gave you the feeling of being something better, and you could believe anything of them, even the murder of the venerable Giesing inn and brewery owner Ignatz Hoflinger (Francis Fulton-Smith).

"Oktoberfest 1900" is the name of the event series based on historical events for which Alexis von Wittgenstein developed the concept. From 15. In September, it will be broadcast on three evenings, each with double episodes, on the German television channel Ersten. Directed by Hannu Salonen, a cast of first-rate actors plays with. If it's up to Maximilian Bruckner, who embodies a corrupt, rich beer brewer named Anatol Stifter, you shouldn't miss it: "A thriller, a drama, a comedy – there's everything in it."Even more so, where this year the biggest folk festival in the world has to be cancelled due to corona.

The plot

Hoflinger is the first victim of Curt Prank (Misel Maticevic), an upstart from Nuremberg. He has moved to Munich with his daughter Clara (Mercedes Muller) to pursue his dream of a "beer castle" for 6.000 guests to realize. 20 times the size of the usual beer stalls at the Oktoberfest. For this, he needs the appropriate floor space; to get it, any means will do. If he doesn't get anywhere with bribery, his man for the rough stuff helps him (Martin Feifel). The gastronome actually existed. His name was Georg Lang, and in his beer hall the drinking song "Ein Prosit auf die Gemutlichkeit" was heard for the first time.

Meanwhile, the Hoflinger widow (Martina Gedeck) is fighting for the survival of the Deibel brewery and for the Wiesn business, which is expected to reorganize her family. May hope live on in her two sons and in "her good beer," the priest wished her at the funeral service. Even a real priest with experience as a Wiesn waiter slipped into this supporting role: Rainer Maria Schiebler.

Strong women are also represented

As if from a powerful brew for a quaffable Marzen beer, the makers have drawn from the full. In the Prague studios, a Munich of the Prince Regent era was created with gloomy corners including a colorful Oktoberfest, which had nothing of the Bussi city. In return, there was a Schwabing bohemian scene with Kandinsky, Thoma and Countess Reventlow. When these artists are guests at the "Oiden Deibel" in the working-class district of Giesing, two worlds collide. In the middle of it innkeeper's son Ludwig, who is discovered as a draftsman for the "Simplicissimus" and whose at that time still punishable homosexuality makes him blackmailable.

The beer cartel may be a matter of men making up the rules among themselves. For example, since the turn of the century, it has been the rule that only beer from Munich breweries may be served at the Wiesn. But there are also strong women in this multi-part. Brigitte Hobmeier plays the beer girl Colina Kandl, who becomes the chaperone of Prank's daughter with cunning. When she later returns to her job as a waitress, the innkeeper knows how to market the red-haired beauty on posters that show her carrying beer mugs on a barrel like the Schutzenliesl (shooting girl). She, in turn, is using her notoriety to negotiate better wages for herself and her colleagues by going on strike.

Multifaceted series

Love, intrigue, violence and humor – the series takes you back in time and gives you a glimpse into the abyss. The visitors to the Wiesn don't notice anything that goes on in the background. They just want to escape from everyday life for a few hours, as they did today.

Therefore a cheers to this television event. The disgruntled Wiesn landlords are advised: "Schwoabts it obe!" (Wash it down) – best with a cool Wiesn beer, which should be available at least in the trade also this year.

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