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Berlin Alexanderplatz

Country: Germany | Netherlands, Language: German, 183 mins

Original Title

  • Director: Burhan Qurbani
  • Writer: Burhan Qurbani; Martin Behnke; Alfred D*blin
  • Producer: Leif Alexis; Jochen Laube; Fabian Maubach

CGiii Comment

It takes a brave director...even braver producers, to take on this story!

3 hours long and nearly 100 years after the source material was written, Alfred Döblin's 1929 seminal novel has been re-interpreted [just as often as Oliver Twist]...this is darker, longer, more perverse than anything Mr Dickens ever wrote!

Burhan Qurbani does himself and the story an honour [and proud]....showing that modernity has - depressingly so - done nothing to alter the downward path of the downtrodden. Isn't it incomprehensible...nothing - really - has changed in nearly 100 years!

This is grim and pessimistic...with a few shards of optimism...that stab - without respite - at the very heart of possibility, positivity, productivity.

These 3 - mind-boggling - hours become addictive...immersive even. You care, you actually care about the good, the bad and the evil...and, the fallen {and falling].

Phil Jutzi and Rainer Werner Fassbinder [his was over 15 hours long] did what they did...Burhan Qurbani has done what they didn't do...he succeeded in giving this story the momentum, the power and pace, the degradation and deserved!

A brilliantly horrible film.



The(ir) Blurb...

Francis has survived his escape from North Africa. When he wakes up on a beach in the south of Europe, he is determined to live a regular, decent life from now on. But he winds up in present-day Berlin where a stateless person without a work permit is treated just as mercilessly as the labourer Franz Biberkopf in Döblin’s classic novel of German modernism. Francis initially resists an offer to deal drugs in Hasenheide park, but then comes under the influence of Reinhold, his neurotic, sex-addicted pal who takes him in. When Francis meets club owner Eva and, after several dramatic experiences, the escort girl Mieze, he feels he’s found something for the first time, something he’s never known before: a little bit of happiness – which is precisely what Reinhold begrudges him.

Like the literary source material, this contemporary version of Berlin Alexanderplatz is also about society and outsiders, desire and travesty. Not unlike Fassbinder’s version, Qurbani’s epic is a gloomy journey through the “dark night of the soul” – not least on account of its authentic, atmospheric images of Francis’ city of exile: Berlin.

Cast & Characters

Jella Haase as Mieze
Albrecht Schuch as Reinhold
Martin Wuttke
Nils Verkooijen as Berta
Welket Bungué as Francis
Joachim Król
Lukhanyo Bele as Ayub
Annabelle Mandeng
Thomas Lawinky as Karl
Lena Schmidtke as Elli
Mira Elisa Goeres as Katie
Benny O.-Arthur as Dealer
Derek Meisenburg as Pums Body Guard
Richard Fouofié Djimeli
Faris Saleh as Masud