Director: Uli Edel. Germany, 1981. 138 mins.
Now an established cult movie, featuring Bowie performing in concert and a soundtrack from his ‘Berlin era’ albums (Low, Heroes, Lodger), Christiane F follows the escapades of a 12-year old girl as she gets drawn deeper and deeper into the 1970s drug scene in West Berlin.
In 1975, 12-year-old Christiane Felscherinow (Natja Brunckhorst) lives with her mother and little sister in a small apartment in a typical multi-storey concrete condo 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 (Christiane Reichelt), 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.
Director – Uli Edel
Writer – Herman Weigel, Kai Hermann, Horst Rieck
Director of Photography – Jürgen Jürges, Justus Pankau
Producer – Bernd Eichinger, Hans H. Kaden, Hans Weth
Cast – Natja Brunckhorst, Thomas Haustein, David Bowie,
Print Source – Daro Films
Release date – 1981