“In Berlin Babylon, which was beautifully photographed on film by Ralf K. Dobrick and Thomas Plenert, Mr. Siegert and his crew send cameras out to glide all over the city; the flow of aerial shots gives a vulture’s-eye view of the then-dying environs and includes the period from 1996 until 2000. By showing projects completed during the last five years, Mr. Siegert allows ”Berlin Babylon” to fulfill the promise that art and architecture can have; like the people who are rebuilding Berlin, he seems to believe in the future.
New York is also in desperate need of healing architectural strategies. And there is much to be learnt from this movie.”
New York Times
“Resonant and heartbreaking in its melancholy portrait of a ruined city trying to resurrect itself.”
“In fact, Siegert seeks to de-metaphorize the city as it evolves, brick by brick, into a workable, ordinary megalopolis. The multi-farious arguments, cases, and designs made toward that end are interesting, but Siegert’s movie succeeds most in visually pondering the nature of a cityscape and its more or less permanent state of collapse and rehabilitation.”
“The voices of the architects, developers, public officials and contractors here discussing the specifics of particular sites, we’re hearing the voices of a conflicted nation as it considers how to handle its tumultuous past while defining itself for future generations.”
TV Guide Magazine
“Berlin Babylon by Hubertus Siegert will most likely be one of those documents that will be seen with fascination and dismay for a long time to come. From 1996 to 1999 Siegert documented the gigantic projects and observed the actors of the great building enthusiast who may fail with a completely free hand at the great task: to give Berlin a new image.”
“Due to its subtle cynicism and its documentary value, Berlin Babylon will gain in value. Future generations will be amazed at the audacity with which mediocre spirits from this city were able to stamp their seals.”
“There is an atmosphere of catastrophe over the Berlin of this film.”
“No comment disturbs the pictures, the architecture, the music of the collapsing new buildings, and the architects and builders speak for themselves. Berlin Babylon is a highly topical film, given the post-modern megalomania and the demise of mythical city utopias.
“Berlin Babylon is worth the adventure of remembering the development of something new. Waiting for the collapse.”
“Berlin Babylon is one of the few documentaries dedicated to the big projection screen and not the TV screen. Hubertus Siegert plays on the entire range of cinematic possibilities and composes the atmospheric symphony of a capital between megalomania and inability.”
„Politicians, star architects, builders. Hubertus Siegert stages them like in a feature film. Buildings, statesmen and architects come and go, and they all shape the image of the city. Siebert’s breathtaking pictures are history. Exciting like a thriller.”
„Like Benjamin’s angel of history, the camera flies through a city between ten years of dismantling and construction. When hovering over the rooftops of Berlin, the camera becomes an archivist of city history and a documentaryist of her radical rewriting.“