Lexiophiles TGIFilm Selection No. 202

Happy Friday everyone! What’s better to start off the weekend with a good movie? Exactly, here it goes… “Good bye, Lenin!” – An illusion on 79 square meters!

The movie I would like to present to you introduces the period just after the Berlin Wall came down. This is a quite significant time especially for East Germans. The movie takes a quite comical approach to all the substantial changes that happened during that time.

Good Bye, Lenin!” (2003) is about a young man Alex, who wants to protect his mother who was in a long coma and missed the fall of the wall. Once she awakes, everything has changed, Germany is reunified. The doctor advised to not confront her with anything that might cause excitement, may it be good or bad. In order for his mother not to discover what the recent changes have done to her surroundings, Alex intends to maintain the illusion, in their 79 square metre apartment, that things are as before in the German Democratic Republic.


“Good Bye, Lenin!” Trailer with English subtitles

To this end, Alex, his sister and friends redecorate the mother’s room with the old décor, feed her products produced in the West but packaged in old labelled jars and dressed in their old clothes. Occurrences such as a giant Coca Cola advertisement being hung off a wall just outside the mother’s window is one in many that make this movie rather enjoyable.

This charade goes on for some time until the mother feels stronger and leaves the apartment. While wandering around she sees the neighbour’s old furniture piled up on the street, advertisements of Western companies and above all a Lenin statue that is being flown away by a helicopter. After all these impressions, Alex and his sister have to go to all lengths to convince her that everything is still as before.

This movie is funny and eye-opening. Overall the movie received strong positive feedback; it won German and European Film Awards and was nominated for a BAFTA and Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film. Daniel Brühl, who plays Alex in the movie, is a very famous and popular German actor who was introduced to mainstream U.S. audiences for his roles in “Inglorious Bastards” and “The Bourne Ultimatum”. Born in Spain he speaks fluent English, Spanish, French and Catalan.

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