Christiane F. - Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo

Christiane F. - Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo
Natja Brunckhorst

Natja Brunckhorst

Screen Time: 95%
Role: Christiane F.
Age: 14 years old


Christiane F. - Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo

We Children from Bahnhof Zoo (USA)
Rating: 8.5 (6 votes)
Directed: Uli Edel
Country: West Germany
Language: German
Genre: Coming of Age, Drama


This movie portrays the drug scene in Berlin in the 70s, following tape recordings of Christiane F. 14 years old Christiane lives with her mother and little sister in a typical multi-storey apartment building in Berlin. She's fascinated by the 'Sound', a new disco with most modern equipment. Although she's legally too young, she asks a friend to take her. There she meets Detlef, who's in a clique where everybody's on drugs. Step by step she gets drawn deeper into the scene.

Movie Reviews

Amazing Movie, 10 January 2005

Author: Deyth from Brooklyn

Christiane F is a visceral and realistic experience that has never been duplicated in the same fashion. I watched it once over a decade ago while in my late teens and it still haunts me. I happened on this page while searching for a DVD so I can introduce my wife to what I feel is one of the greatest movies of all time, especially because it's all based on a true story. The person who put a comment suggesting this movie has no plot is hopeless; sorry there's no Schwarzenegger to wrap things up nicely and put it all into perspective. And that's why David Bowie is a legend, he obviously has vision that the commenter clearly lacks. Brilliant decision to be involved in this; insuring yet another piece of his immortality.

For those who are capable of thought and aren't afraid to be share a powerful descent into dark and dismal depths with the movie's characters, find this and watch it.



Director Ulrich Edel's Christiane F. (full title: Christiane F.: Wir Kinder Vom Bahnhof Zoo) is an obscure film, at least in North America, but it is not without its admirers. Based on a series of articles first published in the German Stern magazine, which later became a popular book, the true story concerns 14-year old Christiane Felscherinow (played by Natja Brunckhorst), a Berlin teenager who, with a fractured family life and little in the way of ambition, falls into the cyclical trap of heroin addiction and prostitution. At first Christiane — a pretty, slender girl with model-good looks — is only interested in the Berlin nightlife, and in particular the music of David Bowie. She falls for fellow club-hopper Detlev (Thomas Haustein), but soon after she learns that he turns tricks at the Zoo Train Station, picking up sordid men for sex, which pays for his heroin. Christiane at first is horrified, but the lack of guidance at home (with a frequently absent mother) and the desire to fit in with people her own age soon has her hooked on the "H" — and turning to prostitution herself in a relentless downward spiral of sex, junk, and trying to get clean. Released in 1981, Christiane F. addresses the subject of drug addiction in a straightforward manner — more straightforward perhaps than in such later films as The Basketball Diaries, Sid and Nancy, and Trainspotting. There isn't much in the way of character development, and indeed the film almost functions as a high-octane After-School Special, with plenty of stock characters jabbing needles into their arms and looking like zombies (more than few scenes are not for the squeamish). The morality play will not be lost on young people either, as Christiane slowly withers away from her svelte beauty into an emaciated, bruised, filthy girl who vomits blood — obviously, shooting smack will not get you more boyfriends. However, with a 2:08 running time, Christiane F. could do with some trimming, as it makes most of its points in the first half of the film, taking the second half merely to repeat them, perhaps for emphasis. Of special interest is the soundtrack taken from a few late-'70s David Bowie albums, and a live concert appearance by Bowie (performing "Station to Station"). Image Entertainment's DVD release of Christiane F. is bare-bones, with a 1.85:1 transfer from an acceptable source print, and both the original German soundtrack and an English dub available in DD 1.0. However, the lack of English subtitles is an enormous oversight for fans who would like to hear the film in its proper language. And the dub track is shabby as well, with the voice artist reading for Christiane clearly much older than 14 — comparing the dub to the original German only makes the lack of subtitles that much more frustrating, and hopefully Image will see their way clear to revising this title so we can add another star to our overall rating. Keep-case.



Einen Moment zu viel allein, eine Minute zu lange nicht dazu gehört, einen Abend zu viel die volle Aufmerksamkeit vermisst. Sucht ist ein Prozess, und weil sie das ist, beginnt sie sich früh und unbemerkt zu entwickeln bis eines Tages eine Kleinigkeit das Fass zum Überlaufen bringt. Es geschieht so verblüffend nebensächlich, es wirkt so unspektakulär, wie "Christiane F." von einer schüchternen Dreizehnjährigen, die in einem Neubauviertel wohnt, zu einer Heroinabhängigen wird, die am Bahnhof Zoo auf dem Babystrich landet.

  Gerade das ist Regisseur Uli Edel ("Letzte Ausfahrt Brooklyn", 1988, "Rasputin", 1996) gelungen: in den Feinheiten darzustellen, wie unsichtbar die Falle der Abhängigkeit lauert und wie gnadenlos sie bereits in dem Moment zuschnappt, wo der Betroffene beim ersten "nur einmal probieren" noch die Kontrolle zu haben glaubt. Er hat genau die Eckpfeiler heraus gearbeitet, die das Überlaufen verursachen: Umzug in eine große Stadt, Auszug der Schwester, eine mit ihrer Arbeit und ihrem Freund beschäftigte Mutter, keine richtigen Freunde und diese kleinen Augenblicke, in denen das Leben immer wieder abbiegt -- in die falsche Richtung. Der Film konzentriert sich auf den Weg in die Abhängigkeit. Pädagogische Reaktionen der Eltern fallen raus.

  Natja Brunkhorst, die sich als Christiane F. im Handumdrehen vom hübschen Teenager in ein verlebtes Wrack verwandeln muss, erbringt schauspielerisch hervorragende Leistungen. Sie ist auch die Einzige der Darsteller, die später in weiteren Kinofilmen zu sehen ist (z.B. in der Milieustudie "Tiger, Löwe. Panther" oder in "Hörigkeit des Herzens"). Das Drehbuch zur Buchvorlage, für die Kai Hermann und Horst Rieck viele Tonbandaufnahmen mit der berühmtesten Fixerin Deutschlands auswerteten, schrieb Hermann Weigel (auch Drehbuchschreiber von "Die unendliche Geschichte" und Produzent von "Ballermann 6"). Star-Mitwirkender ist David Bowie, mit dem extra für den Film Konzertaufnahmen gemacht wurden.

  Ein gelungener Streifen, der sagt, was er sagen soll, sagen will und sagen muss.

Daphne von Unruh