Uli Edel, Germany, 1981, 131 mins, Cert: 18 (IN GERMAN WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES)
Sat 17 February // 19:30 (SOLD OUT)
This iconic and notorious film from director Uli Edel evocatively captures the icy mood of 1970s Berlin, with its Bowie/Iggy/Lou Reed inspired reputation for doomed romanticism. The austere modernism of the city at night, ecstatic fleeting drug highs, and the abject retching lows of the search for another fix.
Based on the the true story of 15 year old Christiane Felscherinow whose anonymous interviews in Stern magazine caused a scandal in late 70s West Germany. Christiane’s account of teenage drug addiction and sex work around Berlin's Bahnhof Zoo Station caused a media storm in Germany, with her descriptions of the lives and deaths of young heroin addicts.
David Bowie provided the soundtrack, and features in the movie singing Station to Station at a concert watched by Christiane and her friends. Bowie proved to be something of a patron saint to the film; his participation reflecting his interest in the real-life characters who found his aesthetic so encompassing to their own lives, with this patronage then feeding back to shape the city across the tumultuous changes of the next few decades.
Here comes the Zoo, as Iggy sang.
ps. It might have been expected that the film would function as a bleak warning against the perils of substance abuse - in fact Christiane F became a style icon for teenagers across Europe. Meanwhile the real life Christiane became a face in the early 80s post punk scene, singing in bands with members of Einstürzende Neubauten.
AFTER THE FILM... stick around for a celebration of the nocturnal hum and pulse of the era with our BERLINER DISKO, as DJ Gastarbeiter and Judo Lugo spin the dance sounds of 70s and 80s Berlin – Disco, Post-Punk, Kosmische, Berlin Bowie, and more.