80 user 49 critic

Christiane F. (1981)

Christiane F. - Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo (original title)
A teen girl in 1970's Berlin becomes addicted to heroin. Everything in her life slowly begins to distort and disappear as she befriends a small crew of junkies and falls in love with a drug-abusing male prostitute.


Uli Edel (as Ulrich Edel)


Herman Weigel, Kai Hermann (book) | 1 more credit »
2,666 ( 3,651)
2 wins. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Eberhard Auriga Eberhard Auriga ... Alter Fixer
Natja Brunckhorst ... Christiane
Peggy Bussieck Peggy Bussieck ... Puppi
Lothar Chamski Lothar Chamski ... Rolf
Rainer Woelk Rainer Woelk ... Leiche (as Rainer Wölk)
Uwe Diderich Uwe Diderich ... Klaus
Jan Georg Effler Jan Georg Effler ... Bernd
Ellen Esser Ellen Esser ... Kessis Mutter
Andreas Fuhrmann Andreas Fuhrmann ... Atze
Thomas Haustein Thomas Haustein ... Detlev
Lutz Hemmerling Lutz Hemmerling ... Bienenstich
Daniela Jaeger Daniela Jaeger ... Kessi
Bernhard Janson Bernhard Janson ... Milan
Jens Kuphal Jens Kuphal ... Axel
Christiane Lechle Christiane Lechle ... Christianes Mutter


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>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


At 12 it was Angel Dust. At 13 it was heroin. Then she took to the streets. See more »


Biography | Drama


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


The film's subtitle "Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo" translates literally into English as "We Children of Bahnhof Zoo" or "We Children from the Zoo Station". See more »


Christiane sees Detlev giving something to a girl from quite a distance. Then she is is very sure about him taking Heroine just for this action. It is never explained how she could be so sure about this in this moment. It could be any drug. See more »

Crazy Credits

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 »

Alternate Versions

French DVD release includes a French-language dubbed version running 125 minutes. See more »


Features Nosferatu (1922) See more »


Boys keep swinging
Text: David Bowie (as Bowie)
Music: David Bowie (as Bowie)/Brian Eno (as Eno)
RCA Records
Courtesy Rolf-Budde-Verlag, Berlin
See more »

User Reviews

Childhood? What childhood?
3 January 2013 | by leereddySee all my reviews

Christiane F - We The Children Of Bahnhof Zoo is a 1981 film directed by Ulrich Edel based on the torrid accounts of a young girl living in West Berlin during the 1970's and her addiction to heroin and subsequent descent into prostitution.

Based on the accounts of her non-fiction book of the same name the film details the period in which she began experimenting with drugs, such as cannabis and L.S.D, to her initial foray into heroin use and ending with her complete abasement.

Shot with a low budget and employing a large number of first time actors, many of whom chose never to further a career in film, as well as a large number of extras sourced by the production team who were in fact real life junkies and down and outs. These factors alone contribute to the films startling sense of realism and authenticity.

Also, many of the films locations such as the club where Christiane hung out and the nefarious "Zoo" station where young addicts would prostitute themselves are the original locations in which the characters experiences are based, adding further to the films genuine portrayal of the seedy drug scene of West Berlin in the 70's.

The cinematography is bleak and unforgiving and brilliantly captures the barbarous nature of the scene and subject matter. Edels sparse and careful approach gives the piece an almost documentary style and no doubt this unflinching depiction, along with the graphic, perfunctory portrayal of teenage drug abuse contributed to its controversy.

Natja Brunckhorst provides the role of Chritiane and turns an astonishing debut as the heart breaking girl whose life debases to unimaginable depths within such a short space of time. Showing many audiences across Europe that the looming Heroin epidemic was not just confined to older people but also its ruthless and savage affects and how immediate its ravages take place.

This film pulls no punches. Its gritty, no nonsense representation of heroin, and its consequences, are shocking and tragic. The director also manages to take these dissolute children and allow us to view them free of judgement and witness first hand the terrible conditions in which some youths find themselves living within the confines of a so called civilised society. Many a question will arise when watching this film; how, why etc. But its principal aim is to simply allow us a front row seat to a window into a world most of us are hitherto unaccustomed - the nefarious, cruel and grievous life of a teenage addict who ambulates the inevitable path toward prostitution and ultimately burnout.

A great film with fantastic performances and above else, a great soundtrack provided by David Bowie. If you thought Trainspotting back in the late 90's was a shocking film about heroin abuse then this piece will hit you hard because despite its cult status this film is as real and as heart breaking as it gets.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 80 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.



West Germany



Release Date:

2 April 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Christiane F. See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA See more »


Box Office


DEM4,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (cut)

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed