Berlin, in times of nightlife

Berlin Bouncer. —

Do you remember how it was when we hung out at parties, danced in clubs, chatted at events, hugged, hugged, kissed each other? David Dietl’s documentary BERLIN BOUNCER, which was released in 2019, can currently be seen in the arte media library. And although no one suspected anything about Corona, lockdowns and distance rules back then, the film today seems as if it were a wistful document, a sentimental reminder of bygone times. But there were closed clubs before, remember the club deaths, we will only see what it looks like after Corona.

Berlin’s nightlife is changing: from the divided city to the club scene of the nineties to today’s party metropolis. Who was there from the start? Based on the three exciting biographies of Berlin’s most legendary bouncers, BERLIN BOUNCER tells of the reasons and abysses of this development.

BERLIN BOUNCER accompanies three legendary bouncers from Berlin’s club history. Frank Künster came to Berlin from West Germany. Smiley Baldwin was there as an American G.I. active. At that time he was still guarding the border to East Berlin. Sven Marquardt has a completely different origin: He was a young East German punk and photographer who was finally surprised by the fall of the Berlin Wall. The three soon landed in the breathtaking Berlin nightlife of the nineties and eventually became the legendary bouncers of the hippest clubs in town, whose secrets they keep to this day.

This film also tells of the three growing up and their different life plans. It traces Berlin’s cultural history from the fall of the Berlin Wall to the pulsating present. We are accompanied by the unique sound of a city and its clubs, which turns night into day for the three protagonists and the party-goers.

BERLIN BOUNCER is an impressive, emotional document of the Berlin club scene, which until recently was considered the most important in the world. While we avoid physical proximity during the pandemic, the film appears even more memorable, more direct, more painful: We see how free, and how carefree we lived before 2020. BERLIN BOUNCER is worth it – and, above all, it is worth watching it again now if you saw it in the cinema back then.

Direction and script: David Dietl

Camera: Raphael Beinder, Eric Ferranti

Music: Basti Schwarz (Tiefschwarz), Max Bauer & David Specht (Isolation Berlin), Paul Eisenach

Contributors: Sven Marquardt, Frank Künster and Smiley Baldwin

Arte Mediathek: – available until June 10, 2021

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