Film festival recalls Cold War Berlin, capital of spies

Fri Apr 16, 2010 1:57pm EDT
 
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BERLIN (Reuters) - James Bond may have moved on to loose nukes and asymmetric conflict, but back in Berlin moviegoers can still relive the days when espionage seemed as black and white as the Cold War.

Now playing through next week, a retrospective of films shot on location while the infamous Wall still divided Berlin aims to please both fans of spy thrillers and history buffs alike.

"The aesthetic is of another Berlin, iconic and divided, one of rubble and abandoned spaces, the only place in the world where opposite ideologies lived in such proximity," said organizer Alexander Vogel.

Part of the larger Achtung Berlin film festival, the retrospective features eight films -- half British and American productions, half East German -- focusing on the clash between Communism and Capitalism that dominated the late 20th century.

"The Spy who came in from the Cold," "Funeral in Berlin" and "A Dandy in Aspic" are but some of the films showcasing forgotten parts of the city.

Less well known west of the Iron Curtain, "Chiffriert an Chef" (Code to the Chief) follows the story of an East German student who joins the Stasi secret police as a double agent after being approached by the CIA.

Central to the films are areas once known as hotbeds of spy activity -- the border crossing at Checkpoint Charlie, Friedrichstrasse train station, the upscale Ku'damm district, and the barbed wire and grey concrete of the Wall itself.

A festival program can be found at the following website: here

(Reporting by Brian Rohan; Editing by Steve Addison)