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Christiane F. - Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo 1981
Description: This film portrays the drug stage in Berlin in the 70s, following tape recordings of Christiane F. 14 years old Christiane lives with her mother and tiny sister in a typical multi-storey apartment building in Berlin. She's fascinated by the 'Sound', a fresh disco with most modern equipment. Although she's legally too young, she asks a mate 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.
Released: 02 Apr 1981 Director: Uli Edel Writers: Uli Edel (additional writer), Kai Hermann (book), Horst Rieck (book), Herman Weigel Actors: Eberhard Auriga, Natja Brunckhorst, Peggy Bussieck, Lothar Chamski Genres: Biography, Drama
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Christiane F. - Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo Reviews:

I have seen so many movies 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 lvl 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, each filthy toilet, each creepy, slimy john whom she gotta trick with for drug money, each moment of terror and desperation. At this age, everything is felt so intensely. Christiane, a young teenager from a "hell on Earth" zone named Gropistadt, a truly dark and bleak part of Neukoln, West Berlin. A zone where there is absolutely nothing for a teenager to do. She discovers a zone named "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 satisfied to feed Valium and heroin to children eager to escape their dreary reality and to have fun. Here is where Christiane meets Detlef, a man her age. Detlef begins using heroin later after they meet, and Christiane, afraid of losing him to the drug, starts using also. It is especially necessary to notice that the movie doesn't glamorize heroin. As later as the difficult drug test begins, the mood of the movie changes instantly. The unbelievable melody of David Bowie whom Christiane worships is heard frequently throughout the first section of the film. After her and her mates become junkies, the Bowie melody disappears, which is very symbolic, i think. Thankfully director Edel didn't create the mistake that so many American directors create when filming stories about teens: The actors here are genuine teenagers, around 14/15 years old. This makes the movie so much more strong and shocking, and much more believable. The results of heroin on these children is staggering to behold; they turn into these sickly shadows of their former selves, like zombies, in find of their next fix. And strangely, Christiane and her mates never seem to play the high from the heroin. You will never see such a bleak vision of children lost in a surreal hell of drug addiction. And to add further to the intensity, the movie is long, 138 mins uncut, becoming steadily darker and seedier by the minute, until the viewer wonders just how long can this young woman go on like this without fully self-destructing. And amazingly, throughout the running time, the movie never preaches, not for a moment. And it never becomes sentimental, as most American drug movies often do. The movie style is specifically German. I doubt that any American director should have created such a dark and gritty movie about folks so young. "Christiane F: Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo" remains one of the most well-known and admired movies to ever come out of Germany.


I've seen many movies portraying drug addiction but none with such terrifying authenitcity as this film. It's funny. I haven't really thought about this movie in years and what made me suddenly think of it actually was I was thinking about films on my DVD want list. CHRISTIANE F was on that list. So for s***s and giggles I ran a routine find in the Internet Film Info (this website is GOD!!!) and weak and behold, it was out!!! Naturally, I placed my order for it. As much as I wished it was the subtitled ver (which is only accessible in PAL), I have the German ver 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 movie 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 movie in comparison. Although the English dubbing is really cheesy and bad, still it doesn't detract from Ulrich Edel's photos of the dark, seedy, and depressing globe of heroin addicts.Subtitled, "Image of a Generation", CHRISTIANE F is the real storyline of a lonely, bored teenager in the '70's who gets into the drug stage at 12, hooked on heroin at 13 and becomes a prostitute at 14 to help 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 entire lives." Also the children who played the main characters, were as close to the age as the true folks they were portraying. Nadja Brunckhorst, who plays Christiane, was fourteen at the time and does a remarkable job. In fact, this film cute 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 movie work. The second was the test of David Bowie's melody in the soundtrack. Now, I'm biased. I'm a large fanatic of Bowie but even if I wasn't, his melody was used to staggering effect. Truly memorable was the stage toward the end of the movie as Bowie's song 'Sense of Doubt' is played in the background as Edel's camera pans across the sad, ghostly faces of folks at the subway platform. The melody captures the despair of the stage very well, almost too well for comfort. The melody serves, as any nice movie melody should, as other hero in the film, supporting 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 wish 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 want 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 movie 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, everytime 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 movie where there's very tiny hope to be found.


This strong and shocking film is an adaption from the bestselling ebook based on the real storyline of Christiane F. Having lived in Berlin until the mid 80's and being the same age as Christiane F. I can only stress the authencity of both ebook and movie. Berlin was a dark and depressing town at the time, yet a real metropolis with all its problems. You didn't have to be part of the "drug scene" to notice it everywhere in the downtown and surrounding area. Strung out junkies hitting you up for cash in subway stations, streetwalkers, prostitutes at the Bahnhof Zoo ... the magazine article, followed by the ebook and film just type of brought it out in the launch and documented the problem. The film is still relevant 20 years later, one just have to place it a bit in perspective.The soundtrack with David Bowie's melody (newly rereleased on CD) is strong and fits the overall mood perfect. Note: Christiane F. continued to struggle with her drug addiction until 1996 when she had her son. She lives in Berlin.



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