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I've seen this film when it was first released, and I found it to be
not only very unique in the ambitious story told, but very uplifting
for people on both sides of "The Wall". The hero gets a taste of the
"Golden West", but soon finds that all of the material advantages, even
the freedom to travel, don't measure up to the warmth of family,
friends and the love of your life.
To make for a more interesting story, there are a series of outrageous circumstances and fantastic situations, all adding to the adventure, but nonetheless ending in the confession that happiness is within the heart of the one experiencing it. "Meier" decides that he belongs with his girl-friend and the many people who have always filled his life with joy. Rather than have a wall separate him from all of this familiar warmth, he would sooner go on living amidst all of that, than in "the west".
As a former citizen of West Berlin with many close friends on the communist side, this film was particularly moving for me. No one could have sensed, that only about four years after this film's release, the wall would be torn down, and the two Germany's reunited. The tragedy of the wall will remain an open wound for many who had suffered because it ever existed. Almost like the concentration camps in the Third Reich, The Berlin Wall left scars on the minds of millions. "Meier" directed some light hearted criticism at the East German Regime, but always maintained that, despite Geograohic boundaries, there truly always was only one Germany.
I can highly recommend this film, not only as a very entertaining comedy, but as a culturally relevant piece of German History.
An East German uses an inheritance to buy himself a West
German passport. However he can't keep away from his
East German friends. As with all the best comedies, the
action builds up to an eventual crisis.
So it's a light comedy, with nothing bad or very good about it. In particular, the acting is good, but not outstanding. However the film is very political, preferring capitalist glitz to communist squalor. The best moment comes when the hero is asked whether he is West German or East German and he replies "gesamtdeutsch", which I would guess translates as "all-German". I left feeling what a total obscenity that stupid Wall was.
I should say that I only wrote this review because nobody else seems to have bothered. My German is still pretty basic and I expect I missed quite a lot.
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