Heading to Berlin? Check out these five films that will help you get a feel for the city, its history, sights, and sounds!
Good Bye Lenin!
Daniel Brühl gives a wonderful performance in this oddball comedy about the lengths a son will go to protect his mother. Few films have looked at the post-Wall era specifically so Good Bye Lenin! is a must-watch for those interested in the reunification period of Berlin’s history.
The Bourne Supremacy
While not strictly set in Berlin, 2004’s The Bourne Supremacy features a few action sequences set in the Alexanderplatz area of central Berlin, which happens to be where we are staying during our trip to Berlin.
The Lives of Others
2006’s The Lives of Others is a gritty look at the surveillance state in East Berlin. Set in 1984, a secret police agent is tasked with watching and reporting on the life of a writer, a task that quickly takes over the agent’s entire life. For those interested in a look at the lives of East Berliners in the late stages of the Cold War, this film is a must.
Moving back further in time, Valkyrie tells the story of the failed 1944 assassination and coup attempt by resistance members inside the Nazi party. Tom Cruise leads a mostly British cast (forgive the constantly wrong accents) in an action-packed tale of patriotism and heroism from within the ranks of Hitler’s Nazi establishment.
Wings of Desire
If you see one film before you go to Berlin, let it be Wim Wenders’ masterpiece Wings of Desire. Featuring a tour de force performance from Bruno Ganz as an angel that becomes fascinated with the human lives he is tasked with watching over, Wings of Desire is a brilliant look at then West Berlin. My personal favorite scene takes place in the Berlin State Library (Staatsbibliothek) as angels Cassiel and Damiel observe West Berliners going about their day. This one can’t be missed.
What films did we miss? Let us know in the comments below!