Vanessa grew up in a little village and has now been living in Berlin for seven years.

In her film, she takes a critical look at her views and expectations of the city during different phases of her life:

Viewed from the perspective of the countryside, Berlin seems like a magnet onto which all sorts of positive hopes and dreams are easily projected.

Later on, having newly arrived in the city, those ideas and expectations, initially seem to materialise. After a further test of time, however, the idealisation of the city is beginning to crumble and the underbelly of this promised place is beginning to come to the fore, such as anonymity and poverty.

Ultimately, there is a realisation that Berlin’s attraction effectively does not comprise any answers to one-dimensional expectations. Quite in the contrary, its very appeal lies in its multitudinousness, complexity and the simultaneity of its many layers.

Quote this story

“Big City Life,” Berliner Grossstadtgeschichten, accessed May 19, 2019,

Big City Life (German with English subtitles) from ZLB on Vimeo.

Big City Life (German with English subtitles), Vanessa


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