The one for lazy travellers: 5 movies that show you Berlin like no other

  • AFP
  • Updated: Aug 06, 2016 08:04 IST
The German capital is known for its vibrant night life, constantly-evolving art scene and its scenic architecture. (Shutterstock)

You want to see the world but are too lazy to make the effort. Well, all you need is a thoughtfully-curated set of travel movies.

After London, New York and Rio, now we take you to Berlin in a way that you would only love too much. Here’s our list of five movies that you have got to watch if you want this German city checked on your travel list.

Recent flick: Race

Part of this Jesse Owens biopic takes place in the German capital. Berlin is the city where the American athlete (played by Canadian actor Stephen James) won four Olympic gold medals 80 years ago.

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Those memorable scenes were shot in the Berlin Olympic Stadium, built in 1936. Released in cinemas earlier this year, Race is available now on Blu-ray and DVD.

Classic must-see: Wings of Desire

The German director Wim Wenders filmed Berlin just a few years before the Wall came down, with the result that the two angels in his movie, Damiel and Cassiel, wander around a city split in two.

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Scenes were shot in various famous Berlin locations including Potsdamer Platz (which was a no man’s land at that time but has changed greatly since), the Victory Column, the Memorial Church and the public library, where the two heroes find refuge.

A different view: Good Bye, Lenin!

In 2003, German cinema produced a joyous comedy which brought the talented Daniel Brühl (Inglourious Basterds, Captain America: Civil War) to the public’s attention. He plays a young East German whose mother has woken up from a long coma.

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To protect her fragile health, he decides not to tell her about the country’s reunification and the fall of the communist regime. The movie gives us a snapshot of East Germany just before the massive changes of 1989.

One for the kids: Jack

A prize winner at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2014, this movie by Edward Berger (who directed the Deutschland 83 series) is unusual in that it shows us Berlin, but none of its notable landmarks. We nevertheless get a clear picture of the capital and its atmosphere in this story of two brothers in search of their mother.

Historical setting: The Lives of Others

This drama, which won an Oscar for best foreign film in 2007, explores an unsettling period of German history through an agent of the Stasi (secret police) who is in charge of monitoring a couple of East German artists in 1984.

The thriller, which is almost exclusively shot in Berlin, focuses on the Friedrichshain neighborhood and its main street, Karl-Marx Allee, with its austere architecture imported directly from Moscow in the 1950s.

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