10 Films That Capture Berlin In The 1980s

The beginning and end of 1980s Berlin were completely and radically different, and this selection of films captures aspects of the tumultuous decade and the essence of the city itself. Films about the music and art scenes emerged from this divided city and the underlying political strife that was the backdrop to it all. From the infamous and heartbreaking cult filmChristiane F. to the first and last DDR film documenting the queer scene in Berlin, Coming Out, we offer a glimpse into this torn and turbulent decade as captured on film.

Christiane F. – We Children from Bahnhof Zoo

Dir.: Uli Edel, 1981

Based on the life of the young Christiane Felscherinow, Edel’s film captures a dark side of the city through the experiences of a young addict in Berlin. Although technically capturing life in the late 70s, the film, made in 1981, represents a spiritual and cultural aspect of the city that existed well into the 1980s, and a world that was formative to the following decade. With a soundtrack by Bowie, it became a cult film that shocked European audiences, with its brutal and bleak tale of a young girl’s addiction and subsequent prostitution to enable it. Christiane F. is a heart breaking and harrowing story, made more resonant by the fact it is based on true events....more