tv Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown CNN December 24, 2018 10:00pm-11:01pm PST
♪ >> anthony: 25 years later, after the wall fell, berlin remains complicated and unfinished. complicated by history and counter-history, with an urban fabric that resists all attempts to reorder it. berlin fascinates, and people continue to be drawn to its darkness and its light. ♪ i took a walk through this beautiful world ♪ ♪ felt the cool rain on my shoulder ♪
♪ found something good in this beautiful world ♪ ♪ i felt the rain getting colder ♪ ♪ sha, la, la, la, la, la, ♪ sha, la, la, la, la, la, ♪ sha, la, la, la, la, la, ♪ sha, la, la, la, la ♪ >> anthony: berlin is never berlin, they say. pounded into rubble by allied bombs and russian artillery in world war ii. surrounded, then hacked in two during the cold war.
then reunited and reborn. berlin is a city of ghosts. an ever-evolving space where memories and new ideas live side by side. in between and after the wars, berlin has always been a place where you find what you want. or what you think you need. what you can't get back home. a place where fantasies could come true. it's all here. if you know where to look. it's no coincidence. it's a natural progression really that berlin's nightlife is excessive. completely and proudly uninhibited and never ending.
there are clubs for everybody. and many are friendly towards whatever your personal lifestyle choices may be. club culture is the pride of berliners. and draws millions of thrill seekers from all over the world. it is notoriously difficult to navigate, however. and finding the right place, with the right mix, that will actually let you in the door can be a challenge. who decides who gets in keeps each place with its own, personal, non-judgmental balance, are people like frank kuenster. for 25 years, he's been the gatekeeper and bouncer at some of berlin's most infamous club doorways. you were described as a legendary doorman. >> frank: yeah, maybe. >> anthony: um, owner? >> frank: the last few years
i've owned the bar. >> anthony: right. um, a professional partier in berlin, what time do they show up at the club? >> frank: 6:00 in the morning. >> anthony: no way. >> frank: oh yes, of course. >> anthony: so wait a minute, you arrive at 6:00 a.m.? >> frank: and then the clubs, they go from saturday evening to monday morning without any break. so people go there normally sunday morning, and then they dance sunday whole day and all night, and go home monday morning. >> anthony: all right, so you're talking 24 hours. >> frank: no, 36 hours. no problem. >> anthony: 36 hours? what are you doing for 36 hours in a club? >> frank: dancing, talking, chilling, hugging, [ bleep ], whatever. >> anthony: i don't want to do any of those things for 36 hours, personally. i mean -- [speaking german] >> frank: um, i have to begin, sorry. >> anthony: as a large man, with
a physically challenging job, frank likes meat, as i do. so, a long established butcher shop like fleischerei domke is just what the both of us need. pork schnitzel with murky delicious brown gravy and boulette, which i gather is german for meatballs, is the kind of working class food one wants and needs. so, what attracted you to this business? >> frank: the night had always like a -- i always was attracted to the night. i think people in the night, when they are on alcohol or drugs open their mind. also, because it's dark, they are more free, their mind. i found that interesting. >> anthony: berlin is world famous for club scene.
why here? >> frank: i think because we are the last liberal city. like real liberal, you know? the people can afford being here. it's cheap to drink. it's cheap to live. it's cheap to eat. and people come here because of the freedom to party. to get wasted as hard as possible. >> anthony: how about the police and the government at this time? you know, you got thousands of people taking ecstasy and dancing all night till 11:00, 12:00 the next day. >> frank: i think the government knows. i know policemen, and they know about, like, people doing drugs and they come to our clubs. do drugs by themselves, or not, or they drink. but they accept and everybody's cool with it. berlin is a party city. it's no real industry besides a party industry, and so, so many tourists coming only because of that from spain, from italy, from russia, from u.s., from uk,
to get totally lost and totally wasted. but not in a bad way. just like in a buddhistic way. it's like in the moment. you get lost. you can't find yourself, and that, i think, what excess is about. pure hedonism. >> anthony: come to berlin. get high. party. the wall. an absurd, tragic, almost metaphoric but all too real expression of humanity's failure and depravity. a 96 mile stretch of concrete and razor wire cut berlin into an island of capitalistic west, and grey, soul crushing, repressive, communist east. they keep a few chunks of it around. a reminder of terror. of triumph.
or simply to take selfies in front of. every day, fewer and fewer remember that the world almost ended, right here. even as the wall fell, techno music seemed to express something that needed to be expressed. dance music, and ecstasy, and mammoth nightclubs exploded across a reunited berlin. during that time, dj's like ellen allien were pioneers of a new sound and a new generation, east and west, a unifying force. >> ellen: sausage is my favorite food. as a german, you need sausage. >> anthony: yeah, it's good. >> ellen: i like it with the apple.
and -- [inaudible] i think. >> anthony: lunch at michelberger. a joint on friedrichscain. sausage of chicken, pig's feet and sage with smoked mashed potatoes and apple. beef shoulder, braised and served with root vegetables, potatoes, horseradish and god help me, kale. when did the wall come down? that was, what year? >> ellen: '89. >> anthony: '89. so, everything started in '89? >> ellen: everything started in '89. first, the club scene was based on the west side where the first wall came down, and then everything moved to the east because there was space. a lot of industrial places and music was a meeting point of the east and west, and a meeting point of young people trying to
move together. it just happened in the club. when the wall came down, it was our music to come together, so it's very deeply in our blood. that's why it's so strong for me. still, being a dj because this time was a very strong impact for my soul. >> anthony: over time, so many artists, musicians, writers from elsewhere have come to berlin. it's always been sort of a magnet for artists, for a lot of places, would be so welcoming and attractive to creative people? >> ellen: i think after the second war, everything was burned here. there was nothing. nothing was here. only like broken stones, you know? everything was gone.
all the history. so, people start building up the new berlin, or whatever, and we have still not processed, you know? and when you come here, you have the feeling that you have to help, to build something here. i'm a part of it. if i go to paris, i am not thinking, "i'm a part of paris." i'm not because there's so much history you can see in rome. think only about the rome history. >> anthony: yes. >> ellen: because there's everything you can touch, it's an open-air museum. but here, you have the feeling you built something and i think that's why so many people come here. when i'm here, i start being so creative because it makes something to me. it's a very quiet city, but also there is something holding you, you know? something that you have the feeling you want to be a part of. and i think that's why many people come here. >> anthony: there's no past. there's only a future. in a sense. you can create your own world here. >> ellen: yeah, exactly. yeah.
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>> anton: you know, when i was a teenager, the real punk rockers were like -- and so they were already like, "punks dead." by the time we got into it, it was just like -- hi everybody. this is anton, and i'm going to tell you about what i did to make dinner. i used two legs of lamb, and washed them first. and i laid them down on the cutting board, and i stabbed them. and i sliced cloves of garlic into small slivers, and i inserted those into the holes. then i rubbed the lamb with olive oil, and covered it in sea
salt and black pepper. and then i sliced the potatoes, and parsnips, and carrots and a little bit of onions. and made a bed inside the glass pyrex dish, and i stacked those in the oven. got them very hot for a second. and then i turned it all the way down to about 125. and i let it go. >> anthony: anton newcombe is a legend. a true believer. the man behind the ever changing entity known as the brian jonestown massacre, which was always, basically him. seen by many, as perhaps the greatest and most promising musical force since bob dylan. he avoided mainstream success with a notorious combination of self-sabotage and sheer determination to do his own thing.
his own way. completely independent of an industry he loathed. ♪ anton, who comes from southern california, has made berlin his home. his refuge. >> anton: so, we're going to do it at 146. >> engineer: 146? >> anton: yup. what's going to happen, is there's going to be 'tude. i'll go like that. we'll just see. we're not going to a change yet. >> drummer: let's keep eye contact about switching. >> anton: okay, ready? >> anthony: he makes music, paints, and cooks in his studio. still tours to sold-out shows. collaborates with other artists to brilliant results.
and continues to create, and record incredible music his own way. always. zero compromise. he's not just one of the most prolific recording artists in history, but an excellent and enthusiastic cook. frequently combining both callings at the same time. >> anton: so, this has to come out. so, it was cooking from almost 1:00 to 6:00, maybe. i also made sweet potatoes, and stabbed those and wrapped them in foil. and covered the bottom of the oven with foil because they tend to leak sugar, and it's very hard to clean that stuff, but that's what they do. i mash potatoes, very simple. [backwards voices] this is good stuff. i think that's the basic stuff
that we cooked. right there. and, the lamb turned out good. so, there you go. >> anthony: today, anton basically prepared a delicious feast for a large group of friends, and wrote, composed, and recorded some new songs. it is entirely likely that he released the record in the following days. for a guy with a reputation for being, let's say, difficult -- by the way, he was with us always lovely. kind. indulgent. the host with the most, and he made a really good dinner. an incredible soup, a mind-boggling array of side dishes. serious cooking chops. you've been adored. you've been the hot band that
everybody wanted. you've had all the things that a lot of people coming up, you know, yearned for. i wonder what thrills you? >> anton: i like -- music is a puzzle to me, because i'm self- taught. so, i basically have to teach myself every idea that's going through my mind, and they're going really quick. so, it's like a race to accomplish it. >> anthony: what's your turn around time? because it's legendary. like, between recording, you're smiling, and releasing? >> anton: well we had been making a song a day. like, in between cooking right here, i was able to record with her. it's no problem. and i constantly want to challenge myself. and right now i want my music to have a certain amount of energy,
because i'm 50, and i want to prove to people that it's irrelevant how old you are. i just enjoy playing music. that's why i'm 50 years old and playing music. you know what i mean? i just want to remind people that they can just do what they want to do. and i'm going to go ahead and do what i want to do. but meanwhile, i would love -- the one thing that i could accomplish in my life, was just to remind people that there's a possibility that they could do what they want to do. if they want to do it. >> anthony: do you make -- did i hear you make schnapps? >> anton: ollie's got it going on. he's good. they have their own. this bottle right here. >> anthony: nice, that looks beautiful. >> anton: everybody makes their own little aperitif thing. every different area has their own types. there's a million different types, you know. so this is ours. ♪ >> wolf: are you going to do one? it'll put hair on your chest, son. look everybody in the eye, and you got to go -- look, you got to go, "skol!" say "skol." skol! >> anton: now you say, "prost."
okay. ready? ready, here we go. ready? here we go. prost. say it. >> wolf: prost! everybody. prost! >> anthony: i should point out here that the young man is drinking grape juice. wow. i like chillaxin'. the united explorer card makes things easy. traveling lighter. taking a shortcut. woooo! taking a breather. rewarded! learn more at the explorer card dot com. voice-command navigation with waze
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♪ >> anthony: people talk nostalgically about paris in the '20s, the flapper era in the states, but there was really no place like berlin in that time. we vividly recall, with horror, the rise of national socialism, the nazis, but simultaneous to that, a bubble of extravagantly creative ferment, of artistic experimentation, sexual libertinism, intellectual growth, open tolerance of excess in all things. all the constraints of the victorian age seemed to be crumbling for a while. during the weimar era, as it's called, people flocked to berlin, to its cabarets, its clubs. art thrived, its cinema led the world.
escape from the hardships of daily life were everywhere, it seemed. this right alongside the rising tide of evil that would soon eat half the world and reduce much of it to ashes. ♪ do you see any parallels between germany in the '20s and where we are today? >> yes. >> else: like when you read isherwood or other people from other countries coming to germany they say, "oh, everything is so cheap and affordable and you can get anything, anything you want." >> le pustra: living here, it's just -- just go for it. people come here and disappear into the nightlife and live their fantasies. and again, it was exactly like that in the '20s. it's the same, but just different.
>> anthony: brendan nash is a historian who gives walking tours highlighting the weimar era's more famous ex-pats. else edelstahl is a promoter of '20s-themed events throughout the city. la pustra has been called cabaret's darkest muse. he's the creator of kabarett der namenlosen -- a weimar-era theatrical event that reimagines cabaret culture of the '20s with dark, brooding sexual undertones. we meet at grosz in west berlin. though promised 1920s-style classic fare, i was, in this regard, disappointed. the food was excellent, though. germany's cool with, you know, "come to our country, get high and party." >> else: it's not germany, it's berlin. >> anthony: it's berlin. >> else: and in berlin, we say, "berlin is not germany," you know?
i remember the first time i was in berlin when i was 14 years old, and i remember exactly coming here and having this almost physical feeling of freedom. like, i was a goth girl at that time, like i started to only wear black and listened to dark music. and when i came to berlin, i was like, yes, here i can be who i want to be. and it almost felt a little bit magical. >> anthony: do you think that people who came here from other countries, back in weimar era and now, people are looking for a dark side, do you think? >> brendan: certainly, the people are looking for things that they couldn't do at home. >> le pustra: exactly. >> brendan: they're looking for -- >> le pustra: they still come here for the forbidden. >> brendan: -- things that, you know -- and you can tell the people who've come and gone crazy. >> le pustra: it's captured people's imaginations, so people come here in search of that divine decadence. and it is here. it definitely is. >> anthony: during the weimar
years and later, just before and after the wall came down, berlin became a refuge for artists, writers and musicians at a crossroads in their lives. most notably, in 1976, david bowie came here. >> jim: have a seat. well, there we go, there we go. >> anthony: jim rakete is a celebrated photographer known for his intimate portraits. he began his career as a photojournalist, and in '76, captured the first moments of david bowie stepping off the train in west berlin -- a city he would live and work in for the next three years. bowie was exhausted and burned out and looking for a new way to live and to work. and the music he created during that time was something truly groundbreaking and new. the result was both a professional and personal rebirth, and some of the most
powerful and influential recordings of all time. classics which i'd love to play here, but cannot afford. >> jim: he wasn't a big name at the time, but it was a historical point, because he came to berlin the week after he split with his band. and from l.a. he went to berlin, he had to regenerate from -- >> anthony: well, l.a. had been really bad, apparently existing only on cartons of milk and cocaine, i think, and not much else. >> jim: yeah. >> anthony: he essentially came to berlin, oddly enough given its reputation, to clean up. clearly in really bad health, in a really bad place. and yet, the music that he made here was very different from anything he'd done before.
what do you think he found here that was good for him? >> jim: well, he lived a pretty low profile life in berlin, i have to say that. he could be anonymous here, like everybody admired him, but nobody talked to him. that's a big advantage. and a funny thing is, when you have that sort of visionary pregnancy that you say, "something's going to come, something's going to fall from the sky," it does. >> anthony: now back in the early '70s when david bowie arrived, a lot of people don't realize that berlin was surrounded, i mean it was essentially an island during
much of that period. >> jim: yes. >> anthony: outside of whatever bowie was doing, what was it like in west berlin at that time? >> jim: it was like pressure cooking. you know, it was like pressure cooking. west berlin was surrounded by the wall, and there were just three roads leading to west berlin and they were controlled by the russians, basically. >> anthony: so, why would a walled city, surrounded by hostile forces, be such a hot house for art, music and free expression? >> jim: west berlin was always very international. we had people that were flying in from all walks of life. artists from all genres were here, and we were surrounded by east. the wall was a solid resistance, and you need a strong enemy to build a strong muscle. and people who were living here had to improvise a lot. >> anthony: i mean, what is seen by many as a golden period, the weimar era, was in fact a hotbed of music and culture and art in between two really awful events. >> jim: yes. >> anthony: followed by the wartime years, followed by a long period, i mean, post-war berlin was in ruins. when were the good times?
♪ >> anthony: sunday afternoon in berlin at the mauerpark flea market is a place where ex-pat artists and locals alike can find what they want and didn't know they needed. >> anton: oh, there you are, wolfgang, can't lose you. adidas track suit. >> anthony: oh, man, that's a good look. joining the throngs of frugal shoppers -- anton, wolfgang, and i. we have some purchases in mind. >> anton: so this is where i usually take a cigarette break, because -- >> anthony: he'll be a while? >> anton: well, what would you do if you had a 5-year-old brain? this is like -- his synapsis is
going -- [ twisting sounds ] thank you. can we spend one second with the records? >> anthony: oh, hell yeah. >> anton: the main thing that i'm looking for is always beatles in mono, anything in mono from the '60s stuff for when i d.j. okay, i'll get two records. quick enough, right? cool, thank you. he asked me for like the third time where i come from, and then he remembers that i'm in a band and that i've lived here for years and that i see him every week. he's an interesting guy. kind of. he tends to moan a lot. >> anthony: do you know what you're ordering for dinner? >> anton: i think -- i think german food. >> anthony: thank you. i'm assuming that most days, you're working in the studio, do
you take days off where you just do nothing? >> anton: i should be doing that, see. but yeah, i like to create every day, and sometimes i'm just too tired. that's why my studio is just always set up as a house. i just go there and lay on the couch, listen to records. because the type of music that i listen to keeps my mindset exactly the same, endlessly. so my month becomes like a day, and my sleep becomes like a nap. i just pick it up where it left off. so i can think on ideas on the back burner of my mind for weeks, you know? it's like what they would call alpha wave generation, it's just like you keep yourself going in a zone, you know? it's weird. oh no, that's him. >> anthony: that's me.
thank you. i love this, this is what i come to germany for. >> anton: that's the real deal. >> anthony: eisbein is pork knuckle, or more accurately, a big freaking shank. unlike schweinshaxe, its crispy, roasted cousin, eisbein is brined, cured, then boiled with spices until tender and falling off the bone, usually served with sauerkraut and boiled potatoes. schnitzel -- pounded, breaded and deep fried, and served with brown potatoes and creamed mushrooms. what do people like here, or do you even know? >> anton: well, you know, it goes from cheesy pop to rock
garage. people love techno, it's known for techno, and real ethnic sing-a-long-get-drunk songs. >> anthony: do you play locally? do you play here a lot? >> anton: no, no. >> anthony: no? you live and work here, you record here, but you don't -- >> anton: i'm not interested in it too much. because i have nothing to prove. i mean, i've been playing since i was 11 years old. >> anthony: do you have -- do you think you have any responsibility as a musician other than to make the best art you can? >> anton: well, i have self-set goals. i believe it's the duty of older people to hold the torch so somebody gets it, and then even older people can look behind them and go, "aw, somebody else got it, they're following down
the road." so that means like an older writer can go, "okay, all isn't lost, it didn't end in the '60s, here's this younger guy who's 50." see? but it's my responsibility to hold that torch for other people that are younger than me down the road. and even for the squares to leave just this tangled mess of your art and ideas, let people figure it out, don't spell it out. >> anthony: right. >> anton: you know? but i love it up here. i think it's okay, because people stay out of my hair. and you can be invisible. >> anthony: well, that must be nice. >> anton: crazy, right? this is actually really good. >> anthony: no human could eat all of this. >> anton: yeah, it's farmer's style. >> anthony: i ain't farming nothing after this. i'm ken jacobus and i switched to the spark cash card from capital one.
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"metropolis," an artifact of the weimar era that's still politically relevant. it's seen as a cornerstone of cinema and the mother of sci-fi movies. billy wagner has invited me to a midnight showing at the booze and food-friendly lichtblick kino movie house in prenzlauer berg. he's the co-owner and sommelier at the michelin-starred restaurant nobelhart & schmutzig in kreuzberg. the question of the day being what german wines pair best with a utilitarian treat like currywurst -- fried pork sausage smothered in ketchup and a dusting of curry powder. now how did this become a beloved dish, i have no idea. >> billy: it's a lot of flavor, it's spicy, it's fat, it's salt, it's roasted. then you have fries with it. it's -- >> anthony: oh, i understand why people eat it. alcohol.
>> billy: exactly. yes. but at the end, it's a very cheap thing, you know? you get two sausage with fries with a beer. ten euros. >> anthony: oh, so like a quick workers' lunch? >> billy: yes. >> anthony: so what wine would you suggest with this? >> billy: we should try a glass of champagne. there's a place in berlin where they serve currywurst with champagne. >> anthony: really? >> billy: yeah, yeah, yeah. champagne always works, obviously. >> anthony: yeah, i like this, it's a good match. >> billy: super. >> anthony: this is a cool place where you could come see movies like this. the film premiered in berlin in 1927, presenting troubling issues of its time, and it turns out, ours. corporate greed, political corruption, social inequality, and in the figure of brigitte helm's maria -- the dangerous yet powerful role of the individual activist in an oppressive culture. her eyes, she's a little cross-eyed. >> billy: yeah, but that's sexy, you know? >> anthony: yeah. man, here we go. classic german food. they're huge. >> billy: yeah, yeah, yeah. it's a -- you eat one. you know?
>> anthony: i'm not finishing this, man. oh, my god. it's ginormous. kebab was introduced to berlin by turkish immigrants, and doner kebab is the german iteration. >> billy: you know, at the end, it's something which is in every culture. you have something grain outside, bread, and then it's stuffed with something. you have meat in it, you have salad with it, you have spicy sauce, a lot of chili. and you're going to find it in all kind of different versions. we should maybe try a red and see what it does. >> anthony: sure. this is also classic drunk food. i mean, it's greasy, it's messy, it's wet, it's crispy, it's got it all. >> billy: and it's very easy to be done vegetarian. >> anthony: i need the meat. i mean, that big loaf that they put together, i don't know how they make it or extend it, or whatever the hell it is. i don't really care what's in
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>> anthony: berlin has a dark side. but you knew this. you don't have to look too hard. but renowned photographer miron zownir has been looking with a fixed gaze on people in the margins for decades. for over 40 years, he's worked diligently to capture the world's darker shades. its most marginalized people, the outsiders, the transgressive, the forgotten, the desperate and depraved. always in a non-judgmental, unblinking way. these are some of the shots we can put on tv. many we can't. i urge you to find them. you've shot with a lot of hustlers, dope addicts, prostitutes -- how did you
approach your subjects? right up, right in, picture -- or do you establish a relationship? >> miron: it's always depending on the situation. some were not aware of me, others were exhibitionists. i had fights, but most of the time, i didn't have any problems because they were situations, i knew, okay, now i better retreat or i get my ass kicked. and i had a very good sense of how far you can go. >> anthony: in recent years, miron has been making films as well. shooting in abandoned spaces, celebrating all that is taboo, all that is wrong, all that is right about berlin. >> he restoreth my soul.
>> anthony: with an unflinching gaze and a genuine affection for his subjects and characters. berlin has a reputation as a place that you can come and be anything you want, behave pretty much as you want, nobody's going to hassle with you. is that true, do you think, and why? >> miron: endemic art is still possible. this is really important. you can create here independently, affording your little space, and do what you want to do. of all the capitals in europe, it's still the cheapest and more affordable. maybe you don't get anywhere, maybe you don't make much money, but you can create freely. no artist in new york city, paris or london can do this. >> anthony: well, you can't even rent the space. >> miron: no, yeah. only if you really establish artist you can live in these places. so you can come to berlin, and you can have maybe a little show in some basement or cellar, and
at least it's a start, and it's an interaction. and this is good. and this is really good about berlin, and what was always good about berlin. ♪ >> anthony: echoes of lives lived, lives lost. no other city has been repeatedly so powerful then fallen so low. few other cities have been so shaped by individual
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