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Top Customer Reviews
This is a depressing movie, although ultimately it has a good ending, at least for Christiane.
I read the 5-star book years and years ago, and after buying the DVD a few months back, I wanted to re-read the book as it has much more detail, and more cycles of getting clean and relapsing than shown in the movie. The book is out of print (natch!), but it is worth checking out used-book stores for it.
The DVD has no extras at all, and as noted by others, no subtitles - you get it in original German, or second-rate dubbed English. I watch it both ways - German for the emotion, English for understanding.
Still, highly recommended for a change from the Hollywood usual. Much David Bowie in the soundtrack.
This film takes you to the horrifying depths of heroin addiction, as excruciatingly experienced by a German teenager and her "friends". Based on a true story from the 1970's Berlin drug scene, the title character is from a dysfuntional family who eventually falls into the grips of heroin addiction and prostitution by age 14. Great soundtrack, with Bowie (I especially liked the version of Heroes that is sung partly in German), great depiction of the 70's club scene in Berlin, which was rampant with drug use. Even though in color, has the gritty feel of a noir. The film also captures dead-on the desperation of addiction, and how the addicts life becomes all about the next shot. The film also does a great job of conveying the depravity and desolation of the Berlin Zoo train station, a haven for prostitues and addicts at the time.
Based on a book of the same name (unfortunately, last I checked, the book was out of print), the movie of course does not go into as much detail (what movie based on a book does?) but nonetheless, this is a brutal, accurate portrait of the ravages of drug use.
Two things, if you can find the book, buy it. The book was riveting and goes into much greater depth of the girls family background, and her early drug use pre-heroin addiction.Read more ›
Following the book "Christiane F" very closely, the film shows us the downward spiral of a 13 year old heroin addict played by Nadja Brunckhorst. The young actress does a wonderful job, physically deteriorating through out the story. She's in every single scene in the movie, and it's quite surprising that such a young actress who could carry an entire film did so little work in her later career.
David Bowie's music is used to wonderful effect to underscore the hopelessness of these young junkies lives. His late 70's instrumental works with Brian Eno add greatly to the emotional impact of "Christiane F". Only the concert scene where Bowie performs "Station to Station" appears slightly gratuitous; at least, Christiane making direct eye contact with Bowie is a bit out of place in this otherwise uber-realistic film.
The scenes of shooting up in filthy subway bathrooms will probably make many viewers uncomfortable with their uncompromising realism. So too, the graphic depictions of young teens selling themselves for sex to desperately lonely middle-aged Berliners. The withdrawal scene when Detlef & Christiane try to kick heroin together is a brutal sequence, but absolutely realistic.
If a film such as "Last Exit to Brooklyn" is your cup of tea, you shouldn't miss "Christiane F." If graphic depictions of shooting up heroin make you squeamish, you may want to give this film a miss; it will be your loss however, because this film is a gem that any true cinemiste should see.
Christiane F. definitely deglamourizes the drug image, showing the character's standards lower throughout the picture. First the girl makes a point of saying she would never try drugs. Not only does she do so in a few days but the following year she is addicted to heroin. But I found it amusing that she went to prostitution before she went so low as to sell her David Bowie albums on the street. (Bowie is the Elvis of Glam Rock. His soundtrack definitely works with this movie.)
Yes the dubbing is awful but even the viewer forgets this after a while as you're caught up in the picture.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It was even hard to breath during watching this movie.
Ulrich Edel, I've known his name for some time from his work like <LAST EXIT TO BROOKLYN> <BODY OF... Read more
Its a great film and while Bowie's contribution is limited to musical input ( nothing wrong with that of course) it is so easy to see why he agreed to pitch the soundtrack. Read morePublished 5 months ago by LEE MAN
Great film about the sleazy side of Berlin. Both the girl and the actress are in their 50's now.
And they were so cute. Where did the time go.?
I ordered the "brand new United Kingdom" version of this movie. What I received was a damaged DVD. The clasp in the DVD case was broken. Read morePublished on June 26, 2014 by Michael Zurek
loved it a good story sad it realy happins in life to so meny i think its a movie kids can see wat happins if you play around with drugs.Published on June 5, 2014 by RUBEN RIVERA
This deserves five stars because this is a great movie to watch, even in English dubbed. Very interesting and good.Published on April 14, 2014 by Kevin Barton