To Ashes, to Dust: Decadent Berlin, late 1920’s

Like Weimar’s Berlin, the world is crumbling around us. And I can’t help watching this video again and again. How can I say this… I have spent part of the night watching the segment from Babylon Berlin (the TV series on Netflix) where actress Severija Janušauskait? sings Zu Asche zu Staub at the historic club Moka Efti in pre-Hitler Berlin.

It’s a wonderful song, first of all, sung by her character, a woman playing a man on the stage. The choreography is so good, with all the people dancing in synch and singing too. The decadence of 20’s Berlin comes alive here, contrasted at the same time by the fresh look of the protagonist Charlotte, played by wunderbar Liv Lisa Fries.

Zu Asche, zu Staub
dem Licht geraubt
doch noch nicht jetzt

Wunder warten bis zuletzt
Ozean der Zeit
ewiges Gesetz
zu Asche, zu Staub
zu Asche
doch noch nicht jetzt

To ashes, to dust
robbed of the light
but not now

Miracles wait until the last
Ocean of time
eternal law
to ashes, to dust
to ashes
but not now

–Google Translation

Have a look!

Says The Guardian:

Babylon Berlin review: political maelstrom, a populist right on the march – sound familiar?

This big budget, Weimar-era German police drama has plenty of contemporary resonance. And even more debauchery …

A critic from Italy’s La Stampa says

Non capita spesso, ma capita, che si guardi un film o una puntata di una serie tv e ci si innamori totalmente, pazzamente di un brano.

It does not happen often, but it happens, that you watch a movie or an episode of a TV series and you fall in love totally, madly of a song.

The audience that identifies with the singer / dancer and the notes of a piece that evolve on the beats of a drums masterfully played become second to second almost hypnotic. The singer then, this Severija Janušauskaité, is simply fantastic. Wonderful.

[Featured image from the TV Show. Severija: Zu Asches Zu Staub]

About Antonio Vantaggiato

Professor, web2.0 enthusiast, and didactic chef.
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