3 user 11 critic

Berlin Babylon (2001)

Berlin after the Wall came down. Observations on radical reconstruction of a city core. Images of the conflict between the thirst for demolition and the hunger for completion.


Hubertus Siegert


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Credited cast:
Günter Behnisch Günter Behnisch ... Himself
Werner Durth Werner Durth ... Himself
Helmut Jahn Helmut Jahn ... Himself
Josef Paul Kleihues Josef Paul Kleihues ... Himself
Hans Kollhoff Hans Kollhoff ... Himself
Rem Koolhaas Rem Koolhaas ... Himself
I.M. Pei ... Himself
Renzo Piano Renzo Piano ... Himself
Axel Schultes Axel Schultes ... Himself
Angela Winkler ... Herself


Berlin after the Wall came down. Observations on radical reconstruction of a city core. Images of the conflict between the thirst for demolition and the hunger for completion.

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Release Date:

27 September 2001 (Germany) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

For anyone with an interest in architecture...
13 June 2006 | by Camera-ObscuraSee all my reviews

After the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989, huge sections of the city were left an urban wasteland. For over four years director Hubertus Siegert followed the mammoth building projects in the city after the fall of the Berlin wall. He roughly covered the period 1995-2000, but from the film itself it's not quite clear what period is covered exactly.

Geographically, the main focus is on Potsdamer Platz, the surroundings of the now finished Lehrter Stadtbahnhof, the government quarter and the surroundings of the Alexanderplatz (former East Berlin), where during the shooting of this film - besides endless political debate - nothing significant happened but where the main focus of the building activities has shifted during the last couple of years.

No other city in he world has seen an urban renewal project on such a scale as Berlin in the '90s and it's still far from finished (if it ever will be). The film contains some stunning aerial footage, perhaps the only way to fully grasp the scale of the mammoth rebuilding in the city, greatly enhanced by the soundtrack from the Berlin group "Einstürzende Neubauten". Off course, it's not just the scale of these projects that are important, but also the political debates concerning the various projects touching not only Berlin but German history and identity as well.

As a whole, the film is a little uneven, as it wavers between architectural documentary, spiritual journey and an overview of Berlin (and German) history. Nevertheless essential viewing for anyone with an interest in architecture, urban planning and history in general.

Camera Obscura --- 7/10

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