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...
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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>
Thomas Haustein who plays Detlef in the movie, met real Christiane F. and her friend Stella (portrayed by Kerstin Richter in the movie) on the set when they came to visit during the shooting. Thomas and real-life Stella were dating for a while during the making of the film, and she's in the film too, briefly. She plays the drug dealer who sells Detlef heroin at the Sound Disco Club, near the beginning. She's wearing a long coat. Stella died in 2004 due to health complications, consequence of years of alcohol and drug abuse. See more »
Christiane F. plays the David Bowie album, "ChangesOneBowie,"
in her room. But the song that is heard - the German version of "Heroes" ("Helden") - is not on that particular record. See more »
Dedicated to: Andreas W. "Atze" (1960 - 77), Axel W. (1960 - 77), Babette D. "Babsi" (1963 - 77) and all others who didn't have the luck and strength to survive. See more »
I have seen so many films about drug addiction, and not one of them can equal the sheer power of this one. The life of this 14 year old West Berlin junkie is crafted with an astounding level of realism. Her downward spiral into heroin addiction and prostitution is captured by Ulrich Edel, who holds nothing back in his depiction. We see through Christiane's eyes, every filthy toilet, every creepy, slimy john whom she must trick with for drug money, every moment of terror and desperation. At this age, everything is felt so intensely. Christiane, a young teenager from a "hell on Earth" place called Gropistadt, a truly dark and bleak part of Neukoln, West Berlin. A place where there is absolutely nothing for a teenager to do. She discovers a place called "The Sound", a cavernous disco located near the posh and touristy "Kurfuerstendamm". "The Sound" is a seedy teen hangout, infested with drugs, and with dealers only too happy to feed Valium and heroin to kids eager to escape their dreary reality and to have fun. Here is where Christiane meets Detlef, a boy her age. Detlef starts using heroin soon after they meet, and Christiane, scared of losing him to the drug, begins using also. It is especially important to notice that the film doesn't glamorize heroin. As soon as the hard drug use begins, the mood of the film changes instantly. The wonderful music of David Bowie whom Christiane worships is heard frequently throughout the first section of the film. After her and her friends become junkies, the Bowie music disappears, which is very symbolic, i think. Thankfully director Edel didn't make the mistake that so many American directors make when filming stories about teens: The actors here are genuine teenagers, around 14/15 years old. This makes the film so much more powerful and shocking, and much more believable. The effects of heroin on these kids is staggering to behold; they turn into these sickly shadows of their former selves, like zombies, in search of their next fix. And strangely, Christiane and her friends never seem to enjoy the high from the heroin. You will never see such a bleak vision of kids lost in a surreal hell of drug addiction. And to add further to the intensity, the film is long, 138 minutes uncut, becoming steadily darker and seedier by the minute, until the viewer wonders just how long can this young girl go on like this without completely self-destructing. And amazingly, throughout the running time, the film never preaches, not for a moment. And it never becomes sentimental, as most American drug films often do. The film style is specifically German. I doubt that any American director could have created such a dark and gritty film about people so young. "Christiane F: Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo" remains one of the most well-known and admired films to ever come out of Germany.
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