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Movie Location: Christiane F


The legendary cult film featured a cameo from 1970s Berlin's coolest resident.

Thanks to a cameo from David Bowie, the gritty 1981 biopic Christiane F was propelled to cult status. Of course it helped that some of his music featured, too. But besides that, Uli Edel’s movie became notorious for its frank depiction of teenage heroin addiction, with its female protagonist (based on the real-life Christiane F) stumbling through the seedy Bahnhof Zoo scene of the 1970s. Located in Berlin’s Charlottenburg district, right next to the Berlin Zoo, and consisting of a subway station, a railway, underpasses and back alleys, the Bahnhof Zoo was the infamous seedy center of the drug and sex trade in 70s West Berlin.

During the shoot, for added authenticity, most of the extras in the railway station were real-life addicts and prostitutes rounded up by the producers. Today, however, you’d struggle to find such characters there. The Berlin Zoologischer Garten railway station (as it’s now more widely known) has since been remodeled, scrubbed spotless, and made tourist-friendly. But as you can see from Google Street View, the basic structure remains intact and it’s definitely worth a visit if you’re a fan of the film.