I reckon a lot of people have wondered from time to time, whatever happened to Christiane F.
I always felt that this book – and film -had a profound effect on a lot of people. Christiane -first came out as a book of course, and one worth reading because it was, as is often the case, a lot better than the film. The story for you young ‘ens out there, is about a 14 year old heroin addict living the life of a prostitute in the 24 hour, 7 day a week chaos that is a young junkies life. I say young coz as most junkies get older, life tends to slow down somewhat and is nowhere near as eventful as ones younger years on the gear and on the game….
“In the ’70’s and 80’s [Zoo Station]…was the place for kids, young kids on smack to be precise; buying, selling, shooting up, scamming, sleeping, nodding and overdosing, learning the rules of a game with some very serious consequences and a lot of unspoken rules.”
I’m digressing. Christiane F is about a group of misfits and invisible outsiders living inside and outside the Berlin ZOO train station; Now cleaned up considerably of all the ‘riff raff’ back then, in the ’70’s and 80’s it was the place for kids, young kids on smack to be precise, buying, selling, shooting up, scamming, sleeping, nodding and overdosing, learning the rules of a game with some very serious consequences and a lot of unspoken rules.
It is a seriously compelling book for reasons that you’ll have to decide for yourself as you find yourself being dragged under the bus that is Christiane’s life at 14. She is a real person, and this was a real story, an autobiography written by herself some years later, helped along a bit by a journalist. When she was in her early 20’s I believe, the film came out and the media storm that surrounded it had a major impact on her life. In the book/film, we find her at the end….Ok, Ok, I wont spoil it, suffice to say that she struggles with dependency her whole adult like so many of us.
She travelled the world with her money from the book/film, met loads of people, many who kept wanting to give her drugs, and she used drugs all around the world. German critics regularly gave her a hard time especially when they learnt she was back in a methadone clinic somewhere or just back on the gear or just snapped pics of her visual dramas for the papers. Then at around late 30’s or something she had a kid and left Germany because the wonderful papers were already deciding if she would be a fit mother….
PICTURES OF CHRISTIANE – slideshow
So she had her son in Amsterdam (could be a bad place to go methinks? But the Dutch are sooo civilised so I really catch her drift) and then went on a methadone programme as she had got back on the H at some stage there, only to find herself in a battle with social services in Germany and lost her son! interfering Bastards! I will guess we will have to read book 2 to find out if it was a case of need be or not because, yessiree! She has written a long-awaited follow up fans!
CHRISTIANE AT 51 YEARS OLD IN BERLIN: Promoting her new book.
I only found all this out recently as it goes. I thought somehow she made a miraculous recovery and became a writer living out her life…Well, I didn’t know where but just last year, I discovered that she had brought out this other book, based on her life since the first book, because sooooo many peeps were interested in what happened to her.
But before I fill in with a bit of info about her new life and book, (Christiane F; My 2nd Life) here is the film. For any teen junkies or young ones on the game, it’ll touch a few chords and for anyone else, it will touch many more. Its powerful, though maybe a little dated now, but some things never change. It shows us too how young we are at that age, how vulnerable to predators, and how we always think everything is going to work out, that we know the score when we sooo don’t! Well folks, here is a full dubbed version of her film (original is in German, this one is dubbed not with subtitles). Some of the actors were real junkies from the Zoo apparently.
Fuck, these days you can even say hello in person to Christiane on her FaceBook page which she is regularly updating. Go on, you know you want to!
RARE PICTURE OF CHRISTIANE’S BOYFRIEND DETLEF: He was 14 as well and paying for gear as a rent boy, on show behind the lavs at Zoo station along with lots of other young heroin addicted boys at the time. These days he is alive thank god , and apparently mmarried with kids and drives a buus for the disabled.