A slick modern adaptation of Alfred Döblin's influential 1929 novel, Berlin Alexanderplatz is a poetic fable about the futility of ambition and morality.
Francis (the magnetic Welket Bungué) has survived his escape from Guinea Bissau. When he wakes up on a beach in the south of Europe after an illegal crossing over the Mediterranean Sea, he is determined to live a normal life. But he winds up in Berlin, where a refugee without a work permit is treated mercilessly.
Although he initially resists an offer to deal drugs in Hasenheide park, Francis then comes under the influence of his neurotic sex-addicted pal Reinhold (Albrecht Schuch). When Francis meets charismatic nightclub owner Eva and escort girl Mieze (Jella Haase), he feels he has finally found a little bit of happiness – precisely what Reinhold begrudges him.
Not unlike Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s deeply influential 1980 miniseries, director Burhan Qurbani’s epic is a gloomy journey through the dark night of the soul and Francis’ city of exile. Divided into five parts and an epilogue, Berlin Alexanderplatz evokes the decadent and destructive charm of Berlin in a present-day odyssey.