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Christiane F.

Cult teen drug film Christiane F. is returning as a TV series

The David Bowie-soundtracked movie tells the harrowing true story of a teenage heroin addict living in Berlin

The 1981 film Christiane F. may have remained a niche creation if it weren’t for its soundtrack, created by none other than David Bowie. Since its release, it’s gone on to achieve cult status, even inspiring not one but two collections by Raf Simons. And now, it’s set for the highest 2020s accolade: a TV adaptation.

The movie tells the harrowing true story of Vera Christiane Felscherinow, a teenage heroin addict coming of age in the mid-70s. Like the film, the forthcoming series will be inspired by the 1978 book about Felscherinow’s life, titled Wir Kinder Vom Banhof Zoo.

Already premiering in Germany, We Children from Banhof Zoo is an eight-part miniseries which dissects the troubled lives of teenage addicts desperate to escape their families. Although it’s set in 70s west Berlin, the show’s time-setting is purposely ambiguous, featuring music from the past two decades, as well as contemporary slang.

The series is directed by Philipp Kadelbach, and its core cast includes Jana McKinnon as Christiane, Lea Drinda portraying Babsi, Michelangelo Fortuzzi as Benno, Bruno Alexander playing Michi, Jeremias Meyer as Axel, and Lena Urzendowsky as Stella.

Christiane F. was met with controversy when it first premiered 40 years ago, widely criticised for glamorising addiction. However, some deemed it the perfect piece of anti-heroin propaganda. In 2013, Felscherinow published an autobiography titled My Second Life, in which she detailed what has happened to her since the film’s release.

We Children from Banhof Zoo premiered via Amazon Prime in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland on February 19. There’s currently no news on a UK release date. Watch the trailer below, and look back at three things you need to know about the original film here.