Berlin on the movie screen
The Film museum Berlin is the perfect place to discover exhibits that span the entire history of German film, including many artists living in Hollywood exile during the Second World War. The museum includes posters, film costumes, and design sketches, with legendary actress Marlene Dietrich, who was born at Leberstrasse 65 on the Rote Insel in Schöneberg, now a district of Berlin, getting a special focus.
In the center of Berlin at Potsdamer Platz, you will find the Film Museum, the site of the desolate field midway between East and West, where several German filmmakers found dramatic rundown venues after the war. The Berlin Wall was built directly on this area, which was flattened during World War II. In the 1930s, this was an entertainment center; now global business towers are rising, such as the Sony Center and the luxurious Ritz-Carlton. In addition to the Film Museum you can visit other locations where historic movies were filmed.
Here are some movies that were set in Berlin.
The Bourne Supremacy
Paul Greengrass (2004)
Berlin has always been a popular location for Hollywood and international film productions. The Bourne Supremacy is one of those. Matt Damon, as Jason Bourne, dashed around in Berlin trying to reconnect the threads of his past while avoiding the bad guys.
Film locations in the movie: Messedamm, Ostbahnhof, Alexanderplatz, Friedrichstrasse Bridge
Wolfgang Becker (2003)
Christiane, a passionate East German socialist, misses out on Germany’s reunification as she is in a coma. She will suffer a fatal shock if she discovers that her socialist dream has disappeared, so her son, out of love and desperation, tries to keep the old East Germany alive in her apartment. Almost all of the film was shot in the former East Berlin – a liberating, politically and emotionally classic movie.
Film locations in the movie: Karl-Marx-Allee, Plattenbauten
Fritz Lang, (1927)
Metropolis is often called the mother of sci-fi films. Made in Germany in 1927 during the Weimar Period at a cost of approximately 5 million Reichsmarks, it was the most expensive film ever made to date at the time. A reconstruction of Metropolis was shown at the Berlin Film Festival in 2001, and during the same year, the film was inscribed in Unesco’s Memory of the World Register.
Film locations in the movie: All around in Berlin and in the studio Babelsberg in Potsdam
The Lives of Others
Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck (2006)
The Lives of Others was the first major drama to portray East Berlin’s final years. Ulrich Mühe stars as a Stasi agent who becomes absorbed in Sebastian Koch and Martina Gedeck’s romance while spying on them. The film’s gray, muted cityscapes and subtle emotional tone create a fascinating picture of a divided Berlin – Ostalgie!
Film locations in the movie: Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz, Stasi Zentrale, Volksbühne, Ruschestrasse
Text: Fredrik Wallin
Published: December 17, 2015