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THE BEST MOVIE CONCERNING HEROIN ADDICTION EVER MADE
threecorbins | MidwestTest | 11/01/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"this movie is a must to see HOWEVER if possible PLEASE try to obtain the UK version so that you can watch this in german with English subtitles.IT REALLY MAKES A DIFFERENCE and the US version is also cut a little here and there. I have watched both version of this movie and the english overdubs are horrible. I fell for Natja Brunckhorst in a big way in this movie. THIS IS A MUST to see-check it out "
Movie is good - DVD is bare-bones
K. Gittins | CA USA | 09/06/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is a gritty movie about one girl's experience in the Berlin underage prostitution/drug scene of the 70's. This is no glamorized Hollywood movie with mid-twenty year old actors as teens.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."
Powerful and Gripping! - Why No Subtitles?
johann575 | New York, NY USA | 12/15/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"If you are interested in the substance abuse genre, this movie is the most realistic, powerful, and disturbing I've seen. Compare this to the likes of "Days of Wine and Roses", "The Man With the Golden Arm" and "28 Days", and the others all seem lame and glossed over. The only film that I thought came close to the level of realism of "Chrstiane F." was "Panic in Needle Park".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. Also the movie condenses her many "cold turkey" episodes into one or two instances, and the true horror of her withdrawals are much more graphic and real in the book.Secondly, I would have given this 5 stars if the movie were subtitled instead of dubbed. It takes a lot away from the film, and I would recommend waiting until it is released (hopefully) in German with subtitles. I was fortunate enough to have seen the film in the theatre in German with subtitles, and it made a big difference.A classic movie of this genre, a must see, even with the dubbing!"
Gritty, no holds barred look at life on the streets...
L. Alper | Englewood CO | 12/10/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"It's surprising to me that more American cinema buffs have not seen "Christiane F.". Directed by noted auteur Uli Edel who went on to direct the simarilarily themed "Last Exit to Brooklyn", "Christiane F" brings the working class teen world of 1970's Berlin vividly to life.
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. fabulous
Beth | Mesa, AZ United States | 11/28/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Christiane F. is one of the best films about the damaging effects of drugs. It's much better than Requiem for a Dream, which failed because of its preteniousness, although I loved the novel.
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."