Michael or Micha for his friends, is a 17-year-old growing up on Sonnenallee on the communist East German (GDR) side of the street in Berlin in the 1970s. He spends his time with his friends listening to banned pop music, partying and trying to win over the heart of Miriam, who is dating a West Berlin boy, by portraying himself as something of a rebel. Over the course of the movie his best friend Mario, falls for an existentialist, gets kicked out of school and subsequently discovers he is going to be a father. Micha's Uncle Heinz, who regularly visits the family from the West and smuggles contraband items, also suddenly dies of lung cancer. The young man is devastated but however the importance of pop music for him doesn’t change.