Christiane F. is a great German film from 1981 about Vera Christiane Felscherinow

Originally published at: Christiane F. is a great German film from 1981 about Vera Christiane Felscherinow | Boing Boing


Just don’t fall for the remake on Amazon Prime Video, which boils the story down to “prostitution isn’t that bad if you take a breath mint after oral sex”(something that was actually said in the remake).

Over here in Germany, most people come into contact with the original movie at some point in their live and it’s a good deterrent from hard drugs as far as education goes on this topic, but I’m afraid that it is aging quite a bit and might not connect with young people nowadays anymore…

…and which is why I felt the need to point out that the remake is looking great and more modern, but the grimness has been watered down immensely.


My first one-man trip to West Berlin was in the fall of 1984 to visit a friend living near Kottbusser Tor in Kreuzberg. I stepped off the train at Bahnhof Zoo and went downstairs to the U1 subway platform. As a small town boy I found it quite intimidating. Although watching the trailer video here is actually the first time I’ve caught a glimpse of the movie, back then it was all around everyone. “Christiane F.” and “Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo” literally became houshold words. Shortly afterwards the musical Linie 1 saw its first night and went on to become “the second-most successful German musical” (acc. to Wikipedia). You cannot compare today’s Berlin with the heavy, somewhat soiled and dilapidating atmosphere of the Frontstadt der Freiheit, the Insel im Roten Meer that was Westberlin at the time.


It did make quite an impact, because the whole child drug scene went past almost everyone, nobody noticed or wanted to notice and the movie made quite a point.

And even with all the connected squalor and misery, therapy was virtually non-existent back then and often only consisted of going cold-turkey like at Scientology’s narconon as shown in the movie.

For some reason, drug-abuse only ever seems to be dealt with when a state has completely failed and helping these people is the last resort, while it should have been on the agenda much earlier on and little things can go a long way like providing a safe and clean environment to shoot up or clean utensils.


If after watching this unrelentingly depressing but good film you’d like to watch something more positive and also set in Berlin: Run Lola Run.


Crazy, but it’s unavailable on any streaming platform in the US.


TCM was showing it a few months back. Itw sitting on my DVR. TCM Underground, its adult/exploitation related fare seldom ends up in HBO Max’s “TCM hub”.


I read the book in high school, and only a few months later, the film was re-released, and a friend and I went to see it. Both book and film did a solid job of confirming my decision to never even try h.

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You’d think so, but I know of a musician and writer who claims that his initial interest in heroin was entirely due to being shown this film at school.


That’s why I said that it’s a good deterrent as far as just talking and showing examples goes.
You can’t win everyone, there will always be people who are fascinated by the darker sides of life.

But living in bleak times like the early 80s, you could stop at least a few people from doing just about any drug presented to them and kids often are like that… someone tries something new and all of a sudden, it’s becoming a trend, the cool thing to do… It’s just a gut feeling, but I think, the number of people waking up and thinking “I want to do H today!” is tiny.


They showed this to us as kids… the eighties were so depressing. Have sworn off all social-realism since then. Remember thinking: Why am I seeing this, when the reality of society is all around me?

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