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Christiane F. (1981)

Christiane F. - Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo (original title)
This movie portrays the drug scene in Berlin in the 1970s, following tape recordings of Christiane F. 14-year-old Christiane lives with her mother and little sister in a typical multi-story... See full summary »


Uli Edel (as Ulrich Edel)


Uli Edel (additional writer), Kai Hermann (book) | 2 more credits »

On Disc

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2 wins. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Eberhard Auriga Eberhard Auriga ... Alter Fixer
Natja Brunckhorst ... Christiane
Peggy Bussieck Peggy Bussieck ... Puppi
Lothar Chamski Lothar Chamski ... Rolf
Rainer Woelk Rainer Woelk ... Leiche (as Rainer Wölk)
Uwe Diderich Uwe Diderich ... Klaus
Jan Georg Effler Jan Georg Effler ... Bernd
Ellen Esser Ellen Esser ... Kessis Mutter
Andreas Fuhrmann Andreas Fuhrmann ... Atze
Thomas Haustein Thomas Haustein ... Detlev
Lutz Hemmerling Lutz Hemmerling ... Bienenstich
Daniela Jaeger Daniela Jaeger ... Kessi
Bernhard Janson Bernhard Janson ... Milan
Jens Kuphal Jens Kuphal ... Axel
Christiane Lechle Christiane Lechle ... Christianes Mutter


This movie portrays the drug scene in Berlin in the 1970s, following tape recordings of Christiane F. 14-year-old Christiane lives with her mother and little sister in a typical multi-story apartment building in Berlin. She's fascinated by 'The Sound', a new disco with the most modern equipment. Although legally she's 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. Written by Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


This Isn't a Story...It's an EXPLOSION! See more »


Biography | Drama


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »



West Germany



Release Date:

2 April 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Christiane F. See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA See more »


Box Office


DEM 4,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (cut)

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Many extras and background artists appearing in the Sound Club and Railway Station scenes were real life youth, drug addicts, and prostitutes who were found by the production for the sequences involving crowds. See more »


After Christiane meets two friends inside of the Zoo station building, all three leave through a door looking for Detlef (Christiane's boyfriend) where the male prostitutes stand in line. One of her friends (Axel) wears flares-type light blue jeans inside the station, but outside he suddenly wears slim-fit dark blue jeans. See more »

Crazy Credits

Dedicated to: Andreas W. "Atze" (1960 - 77), Axel W. (1960 - 77), Babette D. "Babsi" (1963 - 77) and all others who didn't have the luck and strength to survive. See more »

Alternate Versions

For its UK theatrical release the film was cut by 12 secs by the BBFC, though video versions were much heavier cut by over 5 minutes with all of the edits made to scenes showing the preparation and injection of heroin. The cuts were fully waived in 2000 for all video and DVD releases. See more »


Referenced in Berlin Calling (2008) See more »


Station to Station
Written by David Bowie
RCA Records
Courtesy Rolf-Budde-Verlag, Berlin
See more »

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User Reviews

Childhood? What childhood?
3 January 2013 | by leereddySee all my reviews

Christiane F - We The Children Of Bahnhof Zoo is a 1981 film directed by Ulrich Edel based on the torrid accounts of a young girl living in West Berlin during the 1970's and her addiction to heroin and subsequent descent into prostitution.

Based on the accounts of her non-fiction book of the same name the film details the period in which she began experimenting with drugs, such as cannabis and L.S.D, to her initial foray into heroin use and ending with her complete abasement.

Shot with a low budget and employing a large number of first time actors, many of whom chose never to further a career in film, as well as a large number of extras sourced by the production team who were in fact real life junkies and down and outs. These factors alone contribute to the films startling sense of realism and authenticity.

Also, many of the films locations such as the club where Christiane hung out and the nefarious "Zoo" station where young addicts would prostitute themselves are the original locations in which the characters experiences are based, adding further to the films genuine portrayal of the seedy drug scene of West Berlin in the 70's.

The cinematography is bleak and unforgiving and brilliantly captures the barbarous nature of the scene and subject matter. Edels sparse and careful approach gives the piece an almost documentary style and no doubt this unflinching depiction, along with the graphic, perfunctory portrayal of teenage drug abuse contributed to its controversy.

Natja Brunckhorst provides the role of Chritiane and turns an astonishing debut as the heart breaking girl whose life debases to unimaginable depths within such a short space of time. Showing many audiences across Europe that the looming Heroin epidemic was not just confined to older people but also its ruthless and savage affects and how immediate its ravages take place.

This film pulls no punches. Its gritty, no nonsense representation of heroin, and its consequences, are shocking and tragic. The director also manages to take these dissolute children and allow us to view them free of judgement and witness first hand the terrible conditions in which some youths find themselves living within the confines of a so called civilised society. Many a question will arise when watching this film; how, why etc. But its principal aim is to simply allow us a front row seat to a window into a world most of us are hitherto unaccustomed - the nefarious, cruel and grievous life of a teenage addict who ambulates the inevitable path toward prostitution and ultimately burnout.

A great film with fantastic performances and above else, a great soundtrack provided by David Bowie. If you thought Trainspotting back in the late 90's was a shocking film about heroin abuse then this piece will hit you hard because despite its cult status this film is as real and as heart breaking as it gets.

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