Christiane F. (1981)

It hasn't been until this year that i watched 'Christiane F.' and wow what a story. It's based on the autobiographical novel of Christiane Felscherinow 'We Children of Bahnhof Zoo' where she depicts how she became an heroin addict at the age of 13 on the streets of West Berlin, becoming the most famous "junkie princess".

Christiane, now 51, has published her memoir 'Christiane F - My Second Life' and has offered an interview to Vice that it's really worth reading. I don't like posting interviews that much because sometimes it can be long and boring but i've included the excerpts that i liked best (you can read the full interview at source), such an amazing and sad story from someone who's still coming back from hell. Can't wait to read both books.

I've also posted some stills of the movie that i liked after the cut, with the super beautiful Natja Brunckhorst who offers a really intense performance at the age of 14, so be sure to check out those and watch this film cause it's really something else. And it has David Bowie:

VICE: Was [the movie] an accurate portrayal of your life?
On the whole, yes. But I actually don’t like the film that much; it doesn't describe how I grew up, how I was neglected by my parents. My father was a drinker and he abused my sister and me. He was choleric and my mom just did nothing, She was more into her affair with another man and her beauty. I was so lonely when I was a kid. I just wanted to belong; I was struggling with the world.
So how did the sudden celebrity status hit you after the book and film were released?
I mean, I was 16 when I did the book, and I just wanted to talk. It was therapy for me. We just thought the book would be special interest, just one book among thousands. But we were so wrong.
Suddenly I was famous, but I wasn't able to work out what this would mean to my life. To the public I was the famous drug addict, like an exhibit. They all wanted to talk to me, to see me and to ask, "Will she make it or not? Is she dead yet? Is she still an addict?" They didn't want me as a neighbor or their son’s girlfriend. Christiane F is cool from afar, but not too close, please! They're not interested in anything about me, besides being a junkie. That's the reason why I regret doing the book and film.
In the late 80s, while you were living with some publishers in Zurich, you became a regular at the Platzspitz, a park where drug dealing and taking was completely legal. What was that like?
In Zurich, I lived between literature stars and the heroin scene. Platzspitz was the biggest open-air drug scene in Europe at the time. It was like Disney World for junkies. Zurich is a small town and its drug scene was huge in those days. On some days there were almost 3,000 junkies hanging out there, using drugs, getting drunk. I stayed there for weeks sometimes. It was like a market; they had tables offering any kind of drugs. But people started dying and getting infected with HIV and hepatitis C. The area became a heap of garbage and there was an open war between rival drug gangs, so the Swiss government shut it down in the 1990s.
There were some pretty explicit scenes of drug use in Christiane F. But then there was the Bowie soundtrack. Do you think the film scared people away from heroin or glamorized it?
Not everyone was put off by it. We soon had the problem that many young people thought that what I'd experienced was glamorous and romantic. Even when the book became a required text in schools, I noticed that kids were more fascinated than upset about what they read. So Stern [publishing] published a factbook, which they handed to teachers and parents, with information about how to deal with teens who were fascinated by the story of Christiane F. I hope that My Second Life scares people away from taking drugs more than my first book. I'm quite sure it will. It describes how much pain I've had in my life, and [explains] that I will die a very early and painful death.
What do you think draws people into your story?
I've always asked myself that and I simply don’t know.
I'm nothing special. I haven't done anything special. I'm not even a special junkie—thousand of people have a similar story to mine.
Why do you think junkies are seen as such social pariahs?It’s stupid. You are admired, even though you take drugs, just as long as you're something special—a musician or a painter. But if you're a drug user and you have none of these talents, you're deemed useless to society. You are seen as anti-society. Society doesn't accept addicted people, but they do accept, for example, parents who drink a bottle of wine every other day and leave their kids with foreign nannies, because they want to work and to party. I don’t get it.
Three of your close friends had died by the time the film came out. Did telling your story save your life?
If anything, it has probably shortened it. I wouldn't have had all the royalty money, so maybe I wouldn't have been able to buy heroin for so many years. Maybe I would have got clean earlier and would be in a better condition today.
But you're alive…
I always kept my aspiration. I am fascinated by chances, even though I didn't always make the best of them. And I have an order to my chaos. I've always wanted to look good, to feel good, to have a shower and a home. I'm still happy about these little touching things in life.
Why do you think you never gave up drugs?
I never wanted to give them up. I didn’t know anything else. I decided to live a different life to other people. I don’t need a pretence to stop.
How is your health now?
I'm on methadone. Sometimes I have a joint. I drink too much alcohol. My liver is about to kill me. I have cirrhosis because of hepatitis C. I will die soon, I know that. But I haven’t missed out on anything in my life. I am fine with it. So this isn't what I'd recommend: this isn't the best life to live, but it’s my life.
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1 comment:

  1. Com ja et vaig dir applause for this post! L'entrevista és molt interessant, i les fotos de la película que has posat són genials. Jo la vaig veure fa prou anys, 7 o 8 jo crec. Tot perquè a part que me la van recomanar, m'agrada moltíssim l'alemà (tenim amics de la familia allí, mon pare va estudiar alemà un temps i jo també durant l'escola i l'institut, i ho vaig deixar però aquest any de fet ho vaig rependre i vaig fer una assignatura a la universitat) i sempre m'interessava per aprendre veure pelis alemanes. Per ma mare vaig veure mil de Herzog i Wim Wenders, i després em va recomanar aquesta ella i el meu cosí, a més que sortint Bowie era un must a ma casa, perquè l'etapa de Bowie a Berlin m'encanta també. És molt cruda, però els xics ho fan genial, Natja és preciosa sí, i vaja paper tant bó que fa. I l'escena on sona Heroes <3 i la bomber que porta ella platejada i l'altra amb Bowie darrere, és massa genial. Quan la vam veure la meua cosina es va customitzar una que tenia de sa mare perquè posara Bowie també haha