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Digital debut of the documentary film Berlin Babylon (2001) by Hubertus Siegert

Berlin Babylon © S.U.M.O. Film

Berlin after the fall of the wall. The city displays glaring traces of emptiness, the scars and scabs, the times of war and post-war, left by the history of the 20th century. In this situation of upheaval everything appears to be possible and open. The builders get to work...

In cooperation with S.U.M.O. Film and, the Volksbühne is proud to present Hubertus Siegert’s documentary film Berlin Babylon as a digital premiere on the main stage. Filmed 1996-2000, Berlin Babylon observes the radical reconstruction of a city centre with original music composed and recorded by Einstürzende Neubauten. The film was restored through a complex process and digitized in 4K:

Berlin Babylon (2001)
by Hubertus Siegert
Original restored in 4K
Film screening with guests and post-screening discussion
Wednesday, 24 January 2018 at 8 pm
Volksbühne Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz
8 €

Following the screening, Siegert will host a discussion with two of the film’s protagonists, and dominant players in Berlin’s urban redevelopment – architect Meinhard von Gerkan and former Director of Urban Development for the Berlin Senate Hans Stimmann – on the following topic:“Between empty space and hostile takeover - Urban planning (im)possibilities in babylonian Berlin since 1990”.

Together with Volkwin Marg, Meinhard von Gerkan co-founded the architectural office von Gerkan, Marg and Partners (gmp) in 1965. Today, gmp is the largest German architectural firm, with over 400 projects realised worldwide including the urban planning for Lingan in China. In Berlin, gmp designed numerous office, commercial, residential and hotel buildings, as well as public construction projects including Tegel Airport, the BER (until 2012), the new Tempodrom, the main train station and the renovation of Olympic Stadium.

Hans Stimmann worked in significant positions in architecture and urban development for the Berlin Senate for 15 years up to 2006. His goal was to recover the old Berlin city layout as a foundation for new construction. His guiding principles were "critical reconstruction" and a focus on the experiences of the European city with strict urban planning regulations. This mission triggered a fierce architectural debate about how appropriate is was for the future of reunified Berlin.

In the coming weeks, the Volksbühne’s programme also includes other events about Berlin and its changes. Every night from 31 January to 11 March, the Berlin photography book and exhibition project WAFFENRUHE (CEASEFIRE) by Michael Schmidt and Einar Schleef will be presented as a nocturnal projection on the facade of the Volksbühne. On 5 February, the Volksbühne - in cooperation with the Berlin Wall Foundation, the Robert-Havemann-Gesellschaft, the Berlin Center for Cold War Studies and the Federal Agency for Civic Education - will present an evening of films, music and discussions titled Achtundzwanzig Jahre mit und ohne Mauer (Twenty-Eight Years With and Without the Wall) with i.a. Jürgen Böttcher, Durs Grünbein, Toni Krahl, Ulrike Poppe, Gabriele Stötzer and Christoph Singelnstein.

Tickets are available at the Volksbühne box office, by telephone on +49 (0) 30 2406 5777 and online at

Please contact the press office at or on +49 (0) 30 24065 610 with press ticket and interview requests, as well as any other questions. Photos are available for download here.

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