List Film

Christiane F (4 stars)

Christiane F

(18) 120min (Arrow)

Uli Edel’s grimy, influential 1981 docudrama about one young girl’s descent into the drug scene of 70s Berlin has lost none of its fury. Edel, who went on to direct Last Exit to Brooklyn and The Baader Meinhof Complex, uses non-professional actors and real locations to create a real sense of alternative lifestyle dystopia. 13-year-old Christiane’s (played here by Natja Brunckhorst) downward trajectory is traced from her mother’s high-rise tower block flat through Berlin’s disco scene and into the world of underage prostitution and hardcore heroin addiction. It’s not a pretty watch but as artifact of raw nihilism from the not too distant past it is fascinating. Plus the soundtrack featuring among others Brian Eno and David Bowie (who also appears briefly in a concert scene) is amazing. Minimal extras.

Christiane F trailer

Christiane F.

  • 1981
  • West Germany
  • 138 min
  • 18
  • Directed by: Uli Edel
  • Cast: Natja Brunckhorst, Eberhard Auriga, Peggy Bussieck, David Bowie

Prior to making Last Exit to Brooklyn, Edel made this unrelentingly grim portrait of drug addiction, based on the true story of a teenager who becomes hooked on heroin.

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