Oktoberfest: Beer & Blood

TV review by
Jenny Nixon, Common Sense Media
Oktoberfest: Beer & Blood TV Poster Image
Boozy and at times bloody violent period drama has nudity.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

This series is rife with revenge plots and drama, but light on any real messages.

Positive Role Models

The characters here are complicated, and there's not a clear-cut hero. The Hoflinger family matriarch is a strong woman doing her best to keep her business afloat at a time when women's skills and intelligence were not readily accepted or appreciated.

Violence

People get into physical fights, a severed head is found in a river. A character is attacked and hanged. Shots of a blood-soaked street following a particularly rough encounter.

Sex

A few scenes of simulated sex, a man's bare rear end is seen. Full-frontal female nudity. There's a discussion of inducing miscarriage with a vinegar douche solution -- the act is shown but there's no nudity. Characters hang out in a brothel and discuss how sex is more fun when you like your partner.

Language

Frequently coarse language includes "f--k," "s--t," "damm," etc.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters hang out in bars and get drunk -- beer is almost always present and being imbibed. Bohemian characters drink absinthe. Adults smoke cigarettes and mention doctors who don't approve.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Oktoberfest: Beer & Blood is a period drama set in the 1900s that centers on the formation of Germany's famous brew festival. It claims to be based on true events, but most of the sex and violence introduced in the story is pure invention. Nudity-wise, we see full frontal female nudity, and a man's thrusting backside during a sex scene. A character attempts to avoid becoming pregnant by douching with vinegar. Characters smoke cigarettes and chug beer aplenty -- absinthe is also imbibed. Violence doesn't occur as frequently as the show's title might suggest, but when it does happen, it can be intense. There's a hanging and there are fistfights -- people are beaten to a pulp and blood splatters in the street, a severed head is pulled out of a river. There's a subplot involving a tribe from German Samoa who are treated, in keeping with attitudes of the time period, as savages.

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What's the story?

OKTOBERFEST: BEER & BLOOD is set in 1900 Munich as rich and mysterious brewmeister Curt Prank (Misel Maticevic) arrives in town with a plan to evict local brewers from their small stalls so he can erect a giant 6,000-capacity beer hall of his own. If he needs to murder, bribe, or scheme to make it happen, so be it. His dream project is soon complicated by the appearance of his headstrong, fun-loving daughter Clara (Mercedes Müller), who has the nerve to embark on an illicit romance with Roman (Klaus Steinbacher), the son of a rival family: the down-on-their-luck but determined Hoflinger clan.

Is it any good?

Despite the show's title, the "blood" isn't nearly as ubiquitous as the title suggests -- the focus is more on the cultural changes afoot and on the Romeo and Juliet-styled romance of Clara and Roman. This certainly isn't the first time we've seen a Hatfield-and-McCoy style forbidden romance cause problems for warring families, and Oktoberfest: Beer & Blood doesn't exactly introduce anything new to that formula. That being said, the acting here is uniformly good, the writing decent enough, and the production values pretty darn excellent -- so if you don't mind the paint-by-numbers story and can vibe with the old-timey, pseudo-historical setting, you could definitely do worse.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about other films, books, and TV shows that feature family rivalries as a major theme. How does Oktoberfest: Beer & Blood compare?

  • How have attitudes toward women and people of color changed since the early 1900s? How might these characters' situations change if this story took place now?

  • Did this show introduce you to parts of German culture you were previously unfamiliar with? Did you have any existing cultural notions that were reinforced?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love period dramas

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