SUNDAY MATINEE: 'Christiane F.' (1981)

posted Sunday Sep 28th, 2014

Welcome back to the highly anticipated return of the Sunday Matinee on VoT, this week as the David Bowie Is... exhibit opens at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, we've dug up one of the films most closely associated with his heaviest drug intake period and a crucially under-seen film that depicts the hard realities of living in Berlin in the late 1970s. Christiane F. featured mostly first-time actors, real life drug addicts and prostitutes instead of real actors and the teenage girl the film is based on was actually introduced to heroin at a David Bowie concert, tying his music solidly into the theme of the film.

Considered to be the "king of drug films" this depiction of the raw reality of teenage drug seduction and subsequent addiction takes place in Gropistadt, a menacingly dark and bleak part of Neukoln, West Berlin. Here, Christiane finds solace in a seedy teen hangout disco called 'The Sound,' where drug use is rampant and disgustingly real and hopeless, and in no way glamorized as in American films of the same ilk. As Christiane falls deeper into her addiction and lifestyle, the David Bowie songs slowly exit the background and the harsh reality is allowed to take hold, creating one of the most powerful and disturbing films about addiction of the era, as well.

So draw your blinds, kick this UNCUT (English-dubbed and with no subtitles) film full screen and just be glad you're such an upright respectable citizen!