This movie portrays the drug scene in Berlin in the 1970s, following tape recordings of Christiane F. 14-year-old Christiane lives with her mother and little sister in a typical multi-story... See full summary »
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This movie portrays the drug scene in Berlin in the 1970s, following tape recordings of Christiane F. 14-year-old Christiane lives with her mother and little sister in a typical multi-story apartment building in Berlin. She's fascinated by 'The Sound', a new disco with the most modern equipment. Although legally she's too young, she asks a friend to take her. There, she meets Detlef, who's in a clique where everybody's on drugs. Step by step she gets drawn deeper into the scene. Written by
Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>
I've seen many films portraying drug addiction but none with such terrifying authenitcity as this film. It's funny. I haven't really thought about this film in years and what made me suddenly think of it now was I was thinking about movies on my DVD wish list. CHRISTIANE F was on that list. So for s***s and giggles I ran a routine search in the Internet Movie Database (this site is GOD!!!) and low and behold, it was out!!! Naturally, I placed my order for it. As much as I wished it was the subtitled version (which is only available in PAL), I have the German version as well as the dubbed so that's not that bad. To those who have seen REQUIEM FOR A DREAM and thought that it was the most disturbing film they've seen about drug addiction, I have news for ya: you haven't seen anything yet! CHRISTIANE F., makes REQUIEM look like a Disney film in comparison. Although the English dubbing is really cheesy and bad, still it doesn't detract from Ulrich Edel's images of the dark, seedy, and depressing world of heroin addicts.
Subtitled, "Image of a Generation", CHRISTIANE F is the true story of a lonely, bored teenager in the '70's who gets into the drug scene at 12, hooked on heroin at 13 and becomes a prostitute at 14 to support her habit. There are a couple of things about this that struck me. First, was that Edel used all unknowns for the main parts, especially the kids. They acted so naturally, that even Edel makes the comment that "it's a wonder they haven't been actors or junkies their whole lives." Also the kids who played the main characters, were as close to the age as the real people they were portraying. Nadja Brunckhorst, who plays Christiane, was fourteen at the time and does a remarkable job. In fact, this movie pretty much made her a star in Germany and to this day has had a prolific acting career, mainly on German TV as well as some film work. The second was the use of David Bowie's music in the soundtrack. Now, I'm biased. I'm a huge fan of Bowie but even if I wasn't, his music was used to staggering effect. Truly memorable was the scene toward the end of the film as Bowie's song 'Sense of Doubt' is played in the background as Edel's camera pans across the sad, ghostly faces of people at the subway platform. The music captures the despair of the scene very well, almost too well for comfort. The music serves, as any great film music should, as another character in the film, helping to portray the despair, loneliness, bravado, confusion of adolescence. I feel I can identify with Christiane and her life when I was her age. I was lonely, alienated, and sad. Where as she escaped her pain with drugs, I escaped mine through my writing. I can sympathize completely. You want to fit in with a group so badly that you'll do things that you know you shouldn't just to "be cool". Well, I really wish more teenagers would be shown this film. Would it change a life? Maybe. I do know one thing for me: after reading her book, from which this film is based, I've found a kindred soul. From what I know, she is clean and has been since the film's original release. I hope she continues to have the strength to remain so. Because once a junkie, always a junkie. "We can be heroes, just for one day."-David Bowie, 'Heroes' This song becomes a very understated theme for this film, a song about hope in a film where there's very little hope to be found.
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