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Christiane F. –
Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo
(1981)

Director:
Uli Edel

COUNTRY
West Germany

Genre
Drama/Bio

NORWEGIAN TITLE
Christiane F – Å være ung er for jævlig

RUNNING TIME
138 minutes

Producers:
Bernd Eichinger
Hans Weth

Screenwriters (based on the book by Kai Hermann and Horst Rieck):
Herman Wiegel


Cast includes:

CHARACTER ACTOR/ACTRESS RATING

Christiane F.

Natja Brunckhorst

Detlev

Thomas Haustein ½

Axel

Jens Kuphal -
Leiche Rainer Wölk -

Bernd

Jan Georg Effler -

Babsi

Christiane Reichelt -

Kessi

Daniela Jager -

Stella

Kerstin Richter -

Himself

David Bowie -

Christiane's mother

Christiane Lechle -

 

Review

As the street drug culture hit mainland Europe in the 1970s, stories such as this one became alarmingly commonplace. Based on the real life account of Christiane Felscherinow, this picture by director Uli Edel and producer Bernd Eichinger quickly gained a cult following for its almost glorifying bleakness and relative authenticity. Natja Brunckhorst plays the 13-year-old Christiane who drifts into a new sub-culture in her otherwise uneventful West-Berlin neighbourhood; a sub-culture of dropping acid and listening to David Bowie, which quickly evolves into shooting heroin and selling sexual services at the Bahnhof Zoo station. Whether the filmmakers wanted to deter or attract young audiences might be up for debate, but their semi-documentarian style and experiential rooting give the picture authority. It feels like an important time capsule even after several decades of aging. Christiane F. has many similarities with Larry Clark's New York document Kids from 1995 – both in style, themes and casting. The local, untrained actors aren't always too comfortable with the camera, but lead Brunckhorst and Thomas Haustein, as her boyfriend Detlev, give immense physical performances. A particularly effective segment depicting their opioid withdrawal stand out. There's also some wonderful camera work and production values considering the budget, with a scene of the kids running in a shopping mall as a highlight. David Bowie contributed music and a faux concert appearance.

Copyright © 24.04.2022 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang

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