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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
Slide 2: Metropolis - City of the Future
Slide 3: M - City of Fear
Slide 4: One, Two, Three - City of the West
Slide 5: Torn Curtain - City of Spies
Slide 6: Cabaret - City of Excess
Slide 7: Berlin Alexanderplatz - City of Consciousness
Slide 8: Christiane F - City of Drugs
Slide 9: Taxi zum Klo - City of Sex
Slide 10: Wings of Desire - City of Angels
Slide 11: Good Bye, Lenin - City of the East
Slide 1: Berlin - A City in Film

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.