They have a fearsome reputation for excluding eager clubbers – but as a documentary about Berlin’s doormen is released, three of them explain why their policies are ‘all about tolerance’
The door policies for Berlin’s nightclubs are some of the most talked about in the world. Online forums detail appropriate clothing, what to say and how to act in line in order to get in. In the German capital, bouncers don’t just play the role of security, but also curator, sussing out who can handle the extreme depths of hedonism and who might gawk or yuck at what they see.
Today, far removed from the sexual freedom, relentless techno and ample substance use that defines Berlin’s nightlife, I’m sitting in a plain white room with grey carpet and unforgiving lights. Across from me are three men who’ve become infamous for this curation, playing a key part in creating the renowned and secretive door policies. They’re the subject of a new documentary, Berlin Bouncer, by German film-maker David Dietl: a humanising look at people who have reached this bizarre level of celebrity.