What was it like to live in 80s Berlin?

B-Movie captures the mid-80s counterculture of the German capital, when it was still cleaved in two by the Berlin Wall

Now it may be dubbed the 'Post-Tourist' capital of Europe, but back in the mid-80s, Berlin was still cleaved in two by a wall. It was a decade consumed by punk culture and hedonism. B-Movie gives you a first person POV into its revolutionary story of music, sex and general insanity in the legendary 1980s of West Berlin. Narrated by musician and record producer Mark Reeder and featuring an eclectic array of individuals like Nick Cave and Tilda Swinton, this mostly unseen footage takes us through the intensely energetic decade all the way up to the very first Love Parade in 1989 – the year the wall fell. B-Movie captures the essence of a time often talked about but rarely captured with such authentic insight.

Director Jörg A. Hoppe: “In 1986, (experimental filmmaker) Knut Hoffmeister organised a party behind the squatted Bethanien hospital in Kreuzberg to celebrate 25 years of the wall. Just like they did in '81, they painted the wall white and used it as a screen for their Super 8 movies. This time they projected their movies right across the ‘death strip’ onto a house in East Berlin. There was no censorship, no regulations – everybody could do what he or she wanted.

Berlin-based fire artist Kain Karawahn set the wall on fire while others were peeing on it. Peeing on the wall was very common and it was widely tolerated by West Berlin and the Western Allied authorities because you were peeing on USSR-controlled communist soil, so it was a symbolic act of urinating on the enemy. There were no problems with that. You could also smoke joints and deal drugs on the backside of the Reichstag – east German soil, no western police allowed. It was a legal vacuum.”

Subscribe to the Dazed newsletterGet the day on Dazed straight to your inbox