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Berlin: City in the Movies
Updated February 19, 2010
Scott Macaulay clicks through the various characters this city has played.
Slide 1: Berlin - A City in Film
In cinema, cities have identities. They add meanings to the stories set within them. Most cities are lucky to convey two or perhaps three sets of associations. Throughout the history of film, the movie city of Berlin, however, has reinvented itself over and over again as the character of its people and politics have changed. The capital city of, successively, the German Empire, the Weimar Republic, the Third Reich, and then a city divided between the East and West after World War 2 and during the Cold War, Berlin has provided a visually striking, symbol-laden backdrop to tales of love and war, politics and intrigue, historical memory and ideological denial. It is a city where loving angels debate the German character while junkie youth wipe away their memories on the streets, where the East German state police are both villains as well as comforting cultural icons, and where citizens can unite against a common threat while individuals can find their own communities to love within. The following is a list of ten significant films set in — and in many ways about — the many cinematic Berlins.