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Best Movies and TV Shows about Berlin

If you're a film or TV buff looking for some great recommendations related to Berlin, look no further! As a tour guide, I often reference a variety of films and TV shows that showcase the city and its unique history and culture.

Whether you're planning your trip to Berlin or simply looking to expand your knowledge of the city, these films and TV shows are a must-watch. So why not get a head start on your Berlin adventure and check out these films and shows before your visit? Or, if you're already back home, use them to reminisce about your time in this fascinating city.


Good Bye Lenin

Goodbye Lenin! is a must-watch Berlin movie. It tells the story of a woman who falls into a coma just before the fall of the Wall, and when she wakes up, her children go to great lengths to reenact East German life around her to avoid shocking her delicate health. This comedic and heartwarming film offers a unique and insightful look into life in East Germany and is one of my absolute favorites!



Downfall is a historical drama film that depicts the final days of Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich in Berlin. The film is based on several accounts from people who were present in the Führerbunker during those last days, and it provides a powerful portrayal of the collapse of the Nazi regime. The film received critical acclaim for its accurate portrayal of historical events and its compelling performances, particularly by Bruno Ganz as Hitler.


Babylon Berlin

Babylon Berlin is a German TV series set in 1920s Berlin that follows a young police inspector and a secretary-turned-detective as they solve various crimes in a city full of political intrigue, social upheaval, and decadent nightlife. The show offers a vivid and detailed portrayal of life in Berlin during the Weimar Republic era, capturing both the glamour and the grit of the time. It also explores the early signs of the rise of Nazi Party and the political tensions that would eventually lead to the collapse of the republic. You'll find it on American Netflix.


The Lives of Others

"The Lives of Others" is a critically acclaimed film that won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Movie. Set in East Germany during the Cold War, it explores the surveillance and control tactics of the Stasi secret police. The film provides insight into the everyday life of citizens under an oppressive regime and the psychological toll of living under constant surveillance.



The Weissensee saga is a captivating family epic that unfolds amidst the backdrop of the Berlin Wall and the shifting tides of the Iron Curtain's collapse. At its heart lies the story of Martin, a young police officer hailing from a devoted Party family, who finds himself falling for Julia, a spirited rebel from a family of dissidents. Their romance is a modern-day Romeo and Juliet, as they struggle to overcome the prejudices and societal and political barriers that threaten to keep them apart. I myself grew up in the district of Weissensee.


The Baader Meinhof Complex

The movie chronicles the formative years of the leftist extremist group, the Red Army Faction (also known as the Rote Armee Fraktion or Red Army Fraction) in West Germany from 1967 to 1977. This intense drama revisits the roots of the RAF and delves into their ideologies and actions during their early years. Its gripping portrayal earned the film a nomination for Best Foreign Language Film at the 81st Academy Awards.


Bridge of Spies

The film Bridge of Spies is based on the true story of the most famous spy exchange that took place on the Glienicke Bridge between Berlin and Potsdam during the height of the Cold War. James B. Donovan, the protagonist played by Tom Hanks, was instrumental in negotiating the exchange of prisoners between the United States and the Soviet Union, which took place on the Glienicke Bridge in 1962. The film provides a detailed and dramatic portrayal of this pivotal moment in Cold War history, directed by Steven Spielberg.


One, Two, Three

One Two Three is a 1961 comedy film directed by Billy Wilder, known for its fast-paced and zany plot. The film is set in Berlin just before the construction of the Berlin Wall and follows the story of a Coca-Cola executive who is caught up in a series of misadventures involving East German spies, Russian bureaucrats, and the frenzied atmosphere of the Cold War.


The Counterfeiters

The Counterfeiters is a 2007 drama film, based on the true story of a group of Jewish prisoners who were forced to counterfeit money by the Nazis at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp during World War II. The film follows the moral struggles of Salomon Sorowitsch and his team, who were tasked with forging British and American currency to destabilize their economies, and their struggle to resist the Nazis while striving for survival.



Balloon is a thrilling 2018 film, based on the true story of two families who attempt to escape from East Germany to West Germany in a homemade hot air balloon. The movie offers a tense and suspenseful journey as the families face harsh weather and the risk of being discovered by authorities. If you watch one film about an escape from East Germany, make it this one.


13 Minutes

"13 Minutes" is a German biographical drama film about Georg Elser, a carpenter who attempted to assassinate Hitler in 1939. The film depicts Elser's meticulous planning and execution of the bomb plot. I highly recommend watching this film, and I will likely talk about Georg Elser on my Berlin tour.


Christiane F.

"Christiane F." is a German biographical drama film about a teenage girl's struggles with drug addiction and prostitution in 1970s  West Berlin. The film features a cameo by David Bowie performing "Heroes." It's a powerful and memorable portrayal of a difficult subject.



You'll probably know this one: "Cabaret" is a beloved classic American musical drama film set in 1931 Berlin, telling the story of a performer named Sally Bowles and her relationship with a British academic during the rise of the Nazi party. It features unforgettable musical numbers and explores the tension between personal conflicts and the growing threat of fascism.



"Kleo" is an action-thriller TV series available on Netflix. The show follows the story of Kleo Straub, a former East German Stasi assassin who was falsely imprisoned after a successful mission in 1987. After her release following the fall of the Berlin Wall, she seeks revenge against those who framed her. 



"M" is a drama-thriller film directed by Fritz Lang, released in 1931. The movie follows the story of a serial killer, Hans Beckert, who preys on children, causing widespread fear and panic among the city's residents. As the police investigate the case and fail to catch the killer, the criminal underworld decides to take matters into their own hands and catch him themselves. The film is considered a masterpiece of German Expressionism and has influenced many other films since its release. 


Run Lola Run

"Run Lola Run" is a 1998 thriller film, starring Franka Potente as Lola, a young woman who has 20 minutes to save her boyfriend from dangerous criminals. The film features a unique narrative structure, showing three versions of the same story, and is known for its fast-paced editing and electronic music soundtrack. It has been critically acclaimed and has influenced many other films. We will see the bank that she robs on our tour!



"Victoria" is a thriller film shot in a single continuous take. The story follows a young woman named Victoria, who gets involved in the criminal activities of a group of men in Berlin over the course of one night. The film is super intense and suspenseful, keeping you on the edge of your seat until the very end, and it's definitely a must-see for anyone who loves exciting and adrenaline-pumping movies.



"Race" is the biographical film directed about African American athlete Jesse Owens, who won four gold medals at the 1936 Olympic Games in Nazi Germany, defying Adolf Hitler's theory of Aryan supremacy. It's a gripping and emotional film that leaves a lasting impression on its viewers.

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