Christiane F - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Christiane F Reviews

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½ March 16, 2018
Even after all this time the film remains an intense, harrowing experience. A good deal of time is spent setting up Christiane as an appealingly ordinary, mildly angst-ridden teenager, who might be the girl next door, so emotionally you're very much along for the ride when she travels to the dark heart of 70s Berlin.
Super Reviewer
½ October 1, 2017
Despite having a dry structure and performances that can be a bit stiff sometimes, the film evokes an intense feeling of hopelessness (especially when we see the city of Berlin bathed in blue) and can be horrific in its graphic depiction of drug abuse by lost teenagers.
April 25, 2017
Early 80's film about the heroin addicted youth in Berlin. We follow Christiane, a fourteen year old girl that seem both smart and popular. Naturally she get's into drugs after hooking up with som shabby dudes. I guess you already know the drill - she get's hooked and joins her boyfriend's friends and her chosen one the slow path down the drain.

Dirty film with few glimses of light and hope. Vomit, prostitution, nasty toilets, needles and drugs everywhere. Stealing, hustling and usage of people just to shoot up. Bowie did many of the songs and also appeared during a gig in this film. My secound Bowie feature in a short period of time.

It bothers me a bit that her mom seem so slack about it. Naive and too accepting, otherwise a very trustworthy film with a great develpment. It's over two hours, but it never feels too long. A good dope flick and even if there's been done several others like this one this is a pretty early drug addiction movie, leading to severe selfdestruction.

8 out of 10 caged birds.
January 18, 2017
Although Christiane Felscherinow herself admitted that this was an accurate portrayal of her life, I was disappointed by this film. It spent more time on aesthetics and David Bowie's cameo than the tough questions which the novel, "Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo", poses.
January 31, 2016
A harrowing ordeal...as any good movie that explores the world of drug addiction should be. Quite graphic in its depiction of the consequences of drug addiction, and the heartbreaking, and seemingly unbreakable, bonds involved. Just when you think someone is about to break free, they get sucked back in. Very sad, and frustrating.

About as searingly graphic, if not more, as Requiem for a Dream, another excellent movie that should convince anyone who watches it to avoid the scourge that is drugs. Another movie you wouldn't want to watch too frequently, due to its gruesome honesty and the fact that the images are burned into your brain.

Excellent soundtrack from David Bowie, including live concert footage. Most of the songs are from his Heroes album, which was written and recorded in West Berlin, and conveys the feelings that living in West Berlin evoked in Bowie. Ideal soundtrack then for Christiane F, being set in West Berlin.
Super Reviewer
January 22, 2016
Relentless and grim, as it should be. A roller-coaster ride to the bottom that makes "Trainspotting" look like a Disney film. If you want the truth about addiction, take a look here.
Super Reviewer
½ October 19, 2015
almost so average but somehow not so. super acting from a very young cast. a no holds barred portrayal of junkie come vice youth. barer than panic in needle park even. maybe it's abject bluntness is it's raison d'etre.
July 21, 2015
I found myself repeatedly forgetting that Christiane and the rest of her friends are only around 14 yeas old when they become hooked on heroin and the actors playing these roles are of the same age. Brilliant acting that you wouldn't think could be pulled off by a cast so young.
½ June 22, 2015
Desgastante manera con la que Edel retrata el giro de una vida en 360 grados. Es increíble como dos horas parecen no transcurrir, es esto una prueba de entretenimiento con sentido que llega a desplegar cuestionantes ante nuestras decisiones. Una cinematografía triste y hermosa, con planos de la desolación del Berlín de los 80s lo cual deja sin aliento.
February 6, 2015
Based on the autobiography Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo by Christiane F. (Vera Christiane Felscherinow), and directed by Uli Edel, (Last Exit to Brooklyn (1989), The Little Vampire (2000) and The Baader Meinhof Complex (2008)), this is one of the most harrowing films ever made about prostitution and drug use, even more so because it actually happened, but it captures the era brilliantly. Set in West Berlin in 1975, it tells the story of Christiane Felscherinow (Natja Brunckhorst), who lives with her mother and sister on the outskirts. She's a huge fan of David Bowie, and when she visits a club called Sound, she's introduced to Detlef (Thomas Haustein), who in turn introduces Christiane to drugs. Her habit begins there, and she's only just turned 14. After meeting Babsi (Christiane Reichelt) at one of Bowie's concerts, and she introduces Christiane to heroin, something she get's badly addicted to. Then Christiane turns to prostitution in order to fund her habit, and she soon learns the dangers of this seedy lifestyle the hard way. If there was ever a film to convince today's youth to stop drug use, this should be it. There's a cold turkey sequence which is nearly unwatchable, and it makes what was to come in Trainspotting (1996) look tame by comparison. But, it's littered with David Bowie songs, he even made a cameo which gave the film a bit of commercial success.
½ January 11, 2015
In 1975, 12-year-old Christiane Felscherinow (Natja Brunckhorst) lives with her mother and little sister in a small apartment in a typical multi-story concrete social-housing building in a dull neighbourhood in the outskirts of West Berlin. She's sick and tired of living there and has a passion for singer David Bowie. She hears of Sound, a new disco in the city centre, labelled as the most modern discothèque in Europe. Although she's legally too young to go there, she dresses up in high heels, wears makeup, and asks a friend from school, who hangs out there regularly, to take her, too. At the disco, she meets Detlef (Thomas Haustein), who is a little older and is in a clique where everybody experiments with various drugs. At first she takes pills and LSD, and goes to a David Bowie concert in which she meets Babsi, a girl of her same age and tendencies, and tries heroin for the first time by snorting it. But soon after Christiane falls in love with Detlef, and in order to be closer to him begins using heroin on a regular basis, gradually delving deeper into the drug and ending up as a full-blown addict. As her time at home is replaced with time spent at her cohorts' unkempt apartment, she is also drawn to the seedy Bahnhof Zoo scene, a large railway and subway station notorious for the drug and sex trade in its underpasses and backalleys...

Both the movie and the book acquired cult status in Europe immediately after release, raising awareness of heroin addiction. The popularity of the movie was greatly boosted by David Bowie's participation as both himself (portrayed giving a concert early in the movie) and as the main contributor to the soundtrack. Bowie's music from his albums made in Berlin during 1976-77 is heavily featured throughout the picture, and as he was at the very peak of his popularity during the late 1970s-early 1980s, his presence helped boost the film's commercial success. The film shocked European audiences. The heroin plague that swept Western Europe between the mid-1970s and the early 1980s had yet to become apparent to the public, and it did just after the film's release, with the epidemic killing a significant number of European youth. The film depicted in very realistic detail all the proceedings of heroin addiction: hustling and scoring, shooting up, the effects of heavy drug withdrawal and heavy drug usage, the thinning of the body and the shootup scars, the socialising in rundown neighbourhoods such as peripheral train stations, back alleys, often too high to keep one's eyes open and dropping onto the floor in a stupor, scenes all too familiar to urban citizens in West Germany, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Italy and France in those years. The movie, shot with a low budget in 1980 and released in 1981, but set between 1975 and 1977 in West Berlin, in what was then West Germany, is much leaner than the autobiographical book it portrays. It skips altogether the beginning and also the end of the book, and concentrates on the main central part starting when Christiane begins her nightlife in Berlin at just around 13, and stops rather abruptly after her suicide attempt by mentioning she recovered. Christiane F. (born Vera Christiane Felscherinow on 20 May 1962) an actress/musician and in real life never fully recovered nor her woes ended with her being carried away to Hamburg to begin withdrawal, but the movie focusses on the main addiction portrayal. The cinematography is very bleak and livid, depicting a dilapidated, working-class Berlin with rundown structures and unclean, unkempt settings. Berlin today is rather different and the majority of landmarks from the movie (the station, the Bulow street stalls, the Sound discothèque) are either gone for good or completely remodeled. The film is played mainly by first-time actors, the majority of which were still in school at the time and have not pursued acting careers since. Only Natja Brunckhorst remained in German movies and television, starting with 1982's Querelle by Rainer Werner Fassbinder, another lurid-themed film. Most of the extras at the railway station and at the Sound club were in fact actual junkies, prostitutes and low-lifes rounded up by producers just for those crowded scenes. In a special scene where Christiane runs the alleys of the station to find girlfriend Babsi before learning she is dead, the camera lingers on several last-stage junkies leaning along walls of the underpasses. In a 2011 interview, Thomas Haustein, who plays Detlev and was still in school at the time, recalls being severely frightened by being surrounded by all those real-life addicts but that he also successfully copied their behaviour for his character. Most shootup, nudity and sex scenes involving such underage actors in such graphic detail would not be permitted by today's legal standards; at the time, however, it only required a written letter of consent from the parents to proceed with filming. "Christiane F. - Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo" is one of those movies I reckon you should´ve seen and it´s been on my list forever. Maybe due to everything I have heard about it, I have had an uneasy feeling about seeing it. We get an ugly, gritty, dirty and very unglamorous look upon the heavy drug scene in West Berlin in the late 70´s and it´s not pretty. Christiane F. wants something else in life than living in an plattenbau housing in the outskirts in Berlin and sees the nightlife in the city centre of Berlin as her saviour to something more glamorous and maybe a step closer to her musical hero David Bowie. Berlin is showed in the movie more or less like a runned down colourless city with zombielike people with a compulsory need to use each other in all sorts of ways. Despite the fact that most of the actors are first time actors and that their acting is maybe not on the spot all the time, it creates almost a documentary feeling and what you see feels "real". Natja Brunckhorst does a great job as Christiane F. with her doe eyes, straight hair and lanky looks. The real Christiane F. was as well quite an attractive girl back in the early 80´s. The participation of David Bowie and his great music is vital for the movie and it gives a great lift to the storyline. And I reckon with his own drug experience in Berlin in the mid 70´s he would´ve been able to contribute with his life stories to the movie. "Christiane F. - Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo" should be shown in schools to get young peoples attention to what drugs can do to your life. "Christiane F. - Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo" is still of big importance in 2013.
January 10, 2015
One of the best films I have ever watched. Really opens your mind about heroin use. Both Natja's and Thomas' performances excel.
January 10, 2015
wonder what the real Cristiane F thought of it - she lived off the royalties for some time. Other drug movies (eg. Requiem for a dream; trainspotting) have elements of this, surely one of the earliest no-hold-barred portrayals
January 10, 2015
Bowie kroz cijeli film - odli?no do?arano vrijeme 70tih-80tih u Berlinu !
January 10, 2015
Beyond horrifying! If this film doesn't make you quit drugs, nothing will. Uncompromising at every turn!
January 10, 2015
Moves far too fast initially, with poor acting from the lead male, but a must watch for any fan of Berlin.
January 10, 2015
Basandosi su una serie di interviste in seguito al processo di Christiane Vera Felscherinow per detenzione di droga e ricettazione, Uli Edel dipinge con toni plumbei il conturbante e decisivo cambiamento di stile di vita della quattordicenne Christiane verso la strada della tossicodipendenza. Una metamorfosi cruciale e rovinosa che non vedrà mai possibilità di ritorno e cambierà e stravolgerà per sempre la sua intera esistenza. Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo si svolge in una Berlino notturna cupa ma incredibilmente avvenente, all'inizio nella vecchia discoteca "Sound" (provvista di una sala di proiezione interna, in cui viene fatta un'azzeccata citazione a "La notte dei morti viventi") e in un secondo momento nella squallidissima stazione metropolitana dove i giovanissimi tossicomani si prestano tristemente alla prostituzione, in modo da racimolare il denaro sufficiente per comprare le dosi. Anacronismi a parte (su cui avrei qualche dubbio visto che l'opera non fa riferimento a nessuna data precisa) "Christiane F." cambia in maniera cruciale da un primo tempo più dinamico e spettacoloso (comprendente, tra l'altro, un concerto live di David Bowie, riferito a quello tenuto nella capitale tedesca nell'autunno del '75) ad un secondo più turbinoso, il quale si snocciola rapidamente nel melodramma, dove il volto dell'attrice diventa ceruleo e "mortuario", e la ragazza ormai, a suo malgrado, si ritrova già ben oltre la barriera dell'eccesso. Il racconto è molto più flessibile rispetto all'autobiografia dell'autrice a cui si ispira il lavoro di Edel; infatti ci si concentra parecchio sulla decadenza graduale della protagonista, lasciando poco spazio alle storie degli altri personaggi, anche perchè essendo interpretati da attori adolescenti non professionisti (alcuni dei quali, di tanto in tanto, sembrano addirittura esitare un pò prima di ricordare le battute) magari era alquanto disagevole sviluppare degli intrecci che fossero efficaci allo svolgimento della vicenda. Per quel che riguarda la direzione di Edel, c'è da ammettere che il registro narrativo viene eseguito con una prassi ancora abbastanza accademica, sebbene in grado di valorizzare e, come già detto, spettacolarizzare animosamente immagini e luoghi di richiamo. Prodotto quindi dalla struttura convenuta, ma capace di offrire un certo infausto realismo nel suo prostrato panorama.
½ January 10, 2015
I'm often very cautious of charting into 80s territory for fear of the cheesiness but this movie lives on; this is the original "Requiem for a dream" and it skillfully manages to convey the same anti-drug message without the need for overly-graphic, stomach-churning scenes that run-rampant in "Requiem for a dream". 'Highly-recommendable if you're contemplating heroin-usage but can't handle gore :).
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