Large capitals from all over the world have been often used as the set for famous movies. Obviously, Berlin is not an exception there, especially the rich history and impressive nightlife were used as inspiration. If you love the city Berlin it is great to watch these movies because you will recognise parts of the city. Today we have listed five must-see movies recorded in Berlin.

1. Das Leben der Anderen

The movie Das Leben der Anderen, or The lives of Others, plays in 1984 and tells the story of a Stasi-officier (Gerd Wiesler) who gets assigned to spy on writer and playwright Georg Dreyman. During his observations, the stasi-officer starts to feel sympathy for Dreyman and his girlfriend and also finds out the real reasons for his assignment. Throughout the movie, Wiesler starts hiding information for his superiors and finds himself in a complicated situation.

Das leben der anderen
Das Leben der Anderen is the best movie about Berlin (© moviepilot.de & eagainst.com)

Das Leben der Anderen is an emotional and thrilling movie which received many Oscar nominations and an award for the “Best foreign movie” in 2007. Besides that, the movie is on the 63th position of the list of best movies in the world from IMDB (Internet Movie Database). All in all it is a movie about Berlin which you definitely have to see once in your life.

IMDB grade: 8,5
Trailer: Link
Year: 2006
Director: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck
Actor: Ulrich Mühe
Buy at Amazon: Das Leben der Anderen [Blu-ray]


2. Berlin Calling

Many people who visit Berlin also want to experience the famous nightlife and the many interesting clubs and bars. If this is one of your intentions, it is great idea to get into the right mood with the movie Berlin Calling. The main character in Berlin Calling is the famous DJ Paul Kalkbrenner, who plays the role of the popular DJ Ickarus which travels all around the world to perform in clubs. Some of the clubs are located in Berlin: A part of Berlin Calling is recorded in Club Maria (the club was called Magdalena later).

Berlin Calling with Paul Kalkbrenner
Berlin Calling with Paul Kalkbrenner (© abload.de + 2.bp.blogspot.com)

Berlin Calling is a great movie with an even better soundtrack. The mix between funny scenarios, great dj-performances and hilarious club-scenes will make you want to visit Berlin even more. Especially to visit some of the best parties and go crazy like DJ Ickarus did.

IMDB grade: 7,2
Trailer: Link
Year: 2008
Director: Hannes Stöhr
Actor: Paul Kalkbrenner
Buy at Amazon: Berlin Calling


3. Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo

Compared to the other movies in this list of must-see movies recorded in Berlin, Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo is definitely the most touching one. The movie shows Berlin in the late 70s, the place to be for every drug-addict in Europe. Between all the sex, drugs and parties, you follow the life of a 14-year old girl named Christiane F. Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo is the confronting story of a little girl who gets gets pulled into the dangerous world of drugs and addiction.

Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo
Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo (© bilder.t-online.de & super-8-hobby.de)

This movie recorded in Berlin is based on the memoire of Christiane F. and will show you the dark side of drugs and the nightlife of Berlin. The story is very impressive and different areas in Berlin can be spotted throughout the movie.

Important: The spoken language in Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo is German

IMDB grade: 7,5
Trailer: Link
Year: 1981
Director: Ulrich Edel
Actors: Natja Brunckhorst
Buy at Amazon: Christiane F. – Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo


4. Good Bye Lenin

The next movie about Berlin is called Good Bye Lenin and has everything to do with the Berlin wall and the changes in Germany at the end of the 80s. The two central characters in Good Bye Lenin are Alexander Kerner and his mum. Because of a shocking experience, Alexander’s mum has been laying in a coma for a while. She does not know that the world she used to know does not exist anymore: The Wall has fallen and the DDR does not exist anymore.

Good Bye Lenin with Daniel Brühl
Good Bye Lenin with Daniel Brühl (© thoughtsonfilms.files.wordpress.com)

Because the doctors expect that every shocking experience can be fatal to Alexander’s mum there is only one solution: Alexander decides to pretend that nothing changed and keep the DDR alive, in the bedroom of his mother.

Good Bye Lenin is a great movie which tells a very unique story. The movie was nominated for many awards and Daniel Brühl received an Oscar for his performance as Alexander. In my opinion it is also quite cool that this movie about Berlin shows that the city has not always been like it is nowadays.

In the movie Good Bye Lenin you can see parts of Karl-Marx Allee and Alexanderplatz.

IMDB grade: 7,7
Trailer: Link
Year: 2003
Director: Wolfgang Becker
Actor: Daniel Brühl
Buy at Amazon: Good Bye, Lenin! [Blu-ray]


5. Wings of Desire

Wings of Desire, or “Der Himmel über Berlin” was recorded in 1987 and has everything to do with the two angels Damiel and Casiel. They are flying over a traumatised Berlin and can read the minds of all the sad and depressed people. Because they feel sympathy for the habitants of Berlin, they decide to hand an helping hand.

Wings of Desire
Number 5 in the list of movies about Berlin: Wings of Desire

In addition to the story of two angels, the film is also a meditation on Berlin’s past, present, and future

Words which describe this movie about Berlin in a nice way:

The director of Wings of Desire, Wim Wenders, reconstructed the Berlin Wall for Wings of Desire. Party therefore it is quite special to see this movie when you decide to visit Berlin. During this movie you see Potsdamerstrasse, the Gedachtniskirche and Kurfürstendamm

IMDB grade: 8,0
Trailer: Link
Year: 1987
Director: Wim Wenders
Actor: Bruno Ganz
Buy at Amazon: Wings Of Desire [DVD] [UK Import]


Bonus: Hollywood-movies recorded in Berlin

Besides the movies recorded in Berlin which have been mentioned above, there are also a few hollywood-movies which were recorded in the capital of Germany. Some examples are:

  • James Bond – Octopussy (Checkpoint Charlie)
  • Inglorious Bastards – Kürfurstenstraße
  • Bourne Supremacy – Alexanderplatz and Ostbahnhof
  • Unknown – In the luxury Hotel Adlon
  • Hunger Games: The Mockingjay 2 – Messedam and Tempelhof
Hollywood movies
Hollywood Movies recorded in Berlin

Hopefully this list of movies recorded in Berlin is helpful, please leave a comment if you have any suggestions. If you want to enjoy more media regarding Berlin, you can read our article with Books written by Insiders.

Author

My Name is Job and originally from the Netherlands. In 2012, a girl I met in Australia motivated me to move to Berlin. I love to share the best places, activities and events in Berlin with you on my blog.

2 Comments

    • Job Reply

      Hey Franzi,

      yes you are totally right. It actually has been on my list to add to this article whenever I do an update.

      Thanks for the nice suggestion.

      Job

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