Good Bye Lenin


One of the best scenes in the film is the scene that shows the helicopter removing the statue of Lenin. It is a moving scene that shows how the times are changing and things are starting anew. A lot of people can remember where they were when these events were taking place and the director does an amazing job not making any bias known.

The film Good Bye, Lenin is a satire about the fall of the Berlin Wall and the new relationship between East and West Germany. When Christiane sees Alex participating in a protest for repression of the East German government she suffers a serious heart attack and ends up in a coma for eight months. When she comes around her doctor advises Alex that she must not be subjected to any significant shocks lest she suffer another attack. However, during Christiane’s coma the Berlin Wall fell and the two German countries were united. Since Alex thinks this change would be too much for his mom to digest without prompting another heart attack, he tries to present the world to her as it was before her coma, figuring this would not be too hard since she will be bedridden. This sets up the circumstance for humorous situations as it becomes increasingly more difficult for Alex to maintain the charade, what with all of the West German products flooding in and the old products fading out. And, once Chrisiane starts watching TV, Alex has to fake news programs. A lot of this amounts to replaying old news clips, since the news never changed in the old regime, just reports on productivity quotas and the evils of capitalism. At such moments I was conflicted about whether to view such commentary on the GDR with humor or sadness. Director Becker probably identified with Alex, since it must have been a challenge for him to obtain the necessary props and settings to recreate the time period.

On one level you can view this movie as love stories: between Alex and his mom, and between Alex and Laura. In fact there are many levels to the story. The friendship that develops between Alex and Laura can be viewed as a symbol for the new relationships between the East and West. It is interesting that when Christiane wakes to find the two kissing showing the new unity between the East and West, when she has no idea of the events that have occurred while she was absent. It is also interesting that the young people were mostly upbeat about the changes in the society while the older generation was distraught about the events. This is probably because everything they have known up to this point in their lives is shattered and like every new generation is way more accepting of societal changes because they don’t have that attachment to the way things once were. The relationship between Alex and his mother is very strong. He goes out of his way to make sure that his mother doesn’t find out about the new world. He recreates the world as it was eight months prior taking into account every single detail. Even though it is inevitable that she will finds out the truth about everything, he tries for as long as he can to protect his mother. Good Bye, Lenin is a humorous and dramatic movies that any one could enjoy even If they don’t have he same level of experience as those living in Germany during the time.

 

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