Good Bye, Lenin! (2002)

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Synopsis:
October, 1989 was a bad time to fall into a coma if you lived in East Germany--and this is precisely what happened to Alexâ's proudly socialist mother. Alex has a big problem on his hands when she suddenly awakens eight months later. Her heart is so weak that any shock might kill her. And what could be more shocking than the fall of the Berlin Wall and the triumph of capitalism in her beloved East Germany? To save his mother, Alex transforms the family apartment into an island of the past, a kind of socialist-era museum where his mother is lovingly duped into believing that nothing has changed. What begins as a little white lie turns into a major scam as Alexâ's sister and selected neighbors are recruited to maintain the elaborate ruse-- and keep her believing that Lenin really did win after all!

Genre: Foreign Films
Director: Wolfgang Becker -
Theatrical Release: 2004
Rated: Not Rated
Length: 118 mins
Studio: Sony Pictures Home
Format: DVD
Language: German

Synopsis:
October, 1989 was a bad time to fall into a coma if you lived in East Germany--and this is precisely what happened to Alexâ's proudly socialist mother. Alex has a big problem on his hands when she suddenly awakens eight months later. Her heart is so weak that any shock might kill her. And what could be more shocking than the fall of the Berlin Wall and the triumph of capitalism in her beloved East Germany? To save his mother, Alex transforms the family apartment into an island of the past, a kind of socialist-era museum where his mother is lovingly duped into believing that nothing has changed. What begins as a little white lie turns into a major scam as Alexâ's sister and selected neighbors are recruited to maintain the elaborate ruse-- and keep her believing that Lenin really did win after all!

This culture-shock comedic drama takes a look at life in East Germany before and after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Alex (Daniel Bruhl) dreams of being an astronaut while his high-strung mother (Katrin Sass) works tirelessly as a teacher and state official. She's so vehemently pro-socialist that when she glimpses her son getting arrested during a political protest, she falls into a heart-attack-induced coma and stays there through the raising of the iron curtain and the influx of West German capitalism. When she suddenly wakes up, Alex decides he has to keep the country's sudden change a secret from her, in order to prevent her weak heart from giving out at the shock. Lots of subterfuge and comedy ensues, and what ultimately emerges is a touching parallel between the outward economic change and Alex's own inability to grow up and let go of his own mother-dominated past for an uncertain future with his cute Russian girlfriend (Chulpan Khamatova). Director Wolfgang Becker cleverly incorporates archival news footage of the space race, riots, soccer matches, the fall of the wall, and the arrival of consumer goods en masse. The score by Yann Tiersen (AMELIE) is effective, and Sass earns high marks as Alex's keenly intelligent, heartbroken mother.;

Language Usage   Subtitled
Release Language   English
Color   Color
HiFi Sound   N
Surround Sound   N
Digital Sound   N
Stereo Sound   N
CXEncoding   N
AC3Sound   N
THXSound   N
DTSStereo   N
Unedited Version   N
Collector's Edition   N
Director's Cut   N
Closed Captioned   N
Letterboxed   N
Wolfgang Becker -
Wolfgang Becker -
Stefan Arndt - Producer
Alexander Beyer - actor
Yann Tiersen - Composer, AMELIE (2001)
Chulpan Khamatova - German Actor
Daniel Bruhl - Actor, WHITE SOUND (2002)
Katrin Sass - Actor, GOOD BYE, LENIN! (2004)
Maria Simon - Actor, GOOD BYE, LENIN! (2004)
Florian Lukas - Actor, GOOD BYE, LENIN! (2004)
Bernd Lichtenberg - Screenwriter, GOOD BYE, LENIN! (2004)
Martin Kukula - Director of Photography, GOOD BYE, LENIN! (2004)
New York Times
02/27/2004
"There are a few bright jokes and sharp observations in the sentimental LENIN..."
Los Angeles Times
02/27/2004
"[E]ngaging and bittersweet....A wonderful film unto itself about a world unto itself..."
USA Today
02/27/2004
"This is a very funny picture, though it's never burlesqued and is, in fact, occasionally poignant."
Entertainment Weekly
03/12/2004
"[A] funny and intermittently sharp German satire that musters gentle nostalgia for East German communism while mocking the not-so-distant past."
Movieline's Hollywood Life
03/01/2004
"It's a wonderfully humane and accessible comedy..."
Total Film
04/01/2004
"Wolfgang Becker's award-winning effort is both funny and sweet..."

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