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|Index||13 reviews in total|
21 out of 22 people found the following review useful:
Better and more nuanced than Goodbye Lenin, 3 February 2005
Author: orangesitcom from United States
As an American who lived in former East Germany for a time, I was impressed by the way this film portrayed the ambivalence many Ossis felt about the fall of the Wall. The characters were more nuanced and their treatment more sensitive than that seen in the more popular Goodbye Lenin which, while a good movie, is more about the character's relationship with his mother than it is an accurate portrayal of life in East Germany. Goodbye Lenin seems to reduce the Ossi existence to communist commodification -- to be an Ossi is about what kind of pickles you eat -- whereas Sonnenallee allows its characters to be much more than consumers. In interviews with the makers of Goodbye Lenin, they have mentioned that much of their inspiration for their treatment of East Germans came from TV shows on East Germans.... Sonnenallee presents the eastern life without the extra refraction of the television screen.
18 out of 20 people found the following review useful:
Delightfully humorous but realistic film about life in the former East-Germany., 3 February 2001
Author: MayhapsItWasGoodBackThen from ImpossibleToPleaseThirtySumthings
I had absolutely no idea of what this film was about (other than that it
supposed to be a comedy of some sort) and therefore had hardly any grand
expectations of it. A German movie? Right... well why not give it a try
anyways... and what do you know, this film turned out to be an excellent
Fresh, funny and tragic, full of lively acting (Thanks to great actors albeit rather unknown to bigger audience I presume), clever script and witty and eloquent dialogue. A sort of coming-of-age story in a disturbing setting which is not exactly the world of opportunities to say the least. Craving for something so bad it's about the only thing you live for (be that a new rock album, a girl you've fallen in love with or something else), rise of counter-culture idealism, loss of innocence, making important choices for the first time in your life (and having sex with more partners than with just yourself, heh).
Altho an average American might think this story must have been a vastly exaggerated, it's not (I'm not of German origin either so I don't have a strong personal feel on the topics this picture deals with but I've read my share of history books so I dare to say I have the basic facts right in which to back myself up). Strip down the humorous elements and I bet you get what life pretty much was back then in the East-Germany. Strong censorship, limited freedom of speech (banned topics, one-party politics), one of the closest guarded boarder lines in the history of mankind with extremely thorough customs procedures etc etc.
It now seems more than unbelievable that there once was a huge wall (and mind you people just 12 years back in history!) which divided a whole city in the middle thus separating an entire nation in two: to the rich west and the poor east. People in the East-Germany forced to live under the forever observing eyes of the Big Brother in the communists' utopia while the better-off people of the West-Germany lived the capitalists' dream...
But still entire families were simultaneously torn apart, former friends and neighbors now living on the other side were seen as traitors and enemies of the state by both sides. The threat was always coming from "the other side" depending on which side you were living in! West-Germans looking down and pitying on their Eastern neighbor while East-Germans envy the western lifestyle but want to hold onto their pride. Common shared past is something you just can't wipe out altogether. Ridiculous times but unfortunately true nevertheless.
I felt that this movie dealt with important issues and things which we should never forget. We all know it's easier to cope with difficult situations if you can filter them through humor and see something good and redeeming in most things rather than always seeing the worst in everything.
Don't get me wrong this isn't a serious movies or hard one to watch per se (except for the ending)- it's great fun but if so desired a great opportunity to start a discussion. There were many outrageously funny scenes and on more than one occasion I burst out laughing out loud!
I strongly recommend seeing this movie. Saved my day at least!
9 out of 11 people found the following review useful:
East Side Story, 26 November 2001
Author: tangelo_2001 (firstname.lastname@example.org) from Ottawa, Canada
I've seen Sonnenallee in a small European film fest in Ottawa in the fall of 2001. This film is another reason to blame commercially-driven distributors for the lack of variety in our movie theaters. Here is a funny, daring film about life in Communist East Berlin in the 70s that would not have found its way to our screens but thanks to innovative festival programmers. It took courage to even think about making a comedy (with musical overtones, no less !) on such a subject. Yet, thanks to energetic direction, an enthusiastic cast, and some truly memorable ideas (the scene with the multi-table is a real gem, and the take on West Berliners probably well deserved !), Sonnenallee will stay in your minds for a long time. And the joyful finale, complete with East Berliners dancing their way up to the infamous wall, makes you wonder why the film was not also titled : East Side Story.
10 out of 13 people found the following review useful:
Sex, drugs and "rock 'n' roll"..., 22 October 1999
Author: finn80 from Germany
The movie is located in a Berlin street of the 70's - the Sonnenallee. The
street is divided by the Wall. Micha and his friends live on the other side
of the Wall - in the East.
This movie shows us that DDR-Kids were not very different from those in the West. They are not interested in politics or communism, but in what is much more important: SEX DRUGS AND ROCK 'N' ROLL!
In addition to this interesting insight into everyday life in the DDR the movie is really funny. There are so many comedy elements in it. There is for example a scene in which a East German soldier tries to explain to a West German why the Eastern radio is superior to the Western technology - it has less functions and is therefore easier to handle. And the disastrous party is just great... But - just watch it!
4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
A boy finds the girl of his dreams and has to tempt her with his Eatern charms!, 28 January 2008
Author: steffilambert from United Kingdom
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I watched this film as it was recommended by a friend and also it could
be incorporated into a project I have to do in my University.
When I watched the opening 5 minutes I thought it would be another depressing look in the GDR culture, but the story line was up beat and kept me entertained throughout! My favourite part was when his friend is shot as there is a black out and they think people are going to try and run to get through to the West. However the bullet that 'hits' him, hits his LP instead and shatters the Rolling Stones LP which he had just bought. I also enjoyed at the school dance when the boys danced to T-Rex!!!! It was a great hindsight into the culture of the GDR, which in recent years has been noted for its oppressiveness. I like the light-heartiness of the film content and it is very similar in certain themes to "Goodbye Lenin" Enjoy!
6 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
Great way to look at History!!!!! :-), 6 February 2002
Author: Becky (GermanChic00) from Pittsburgh, PA/ Gronau, Germany
When I first saw this movie I watched it from a unique perspective. Actually, two unique perspectives... One is that of an American and the other is that of a German. I see this film as a giant leap in German culture. You may be asking yourself why... It is a comedy, not a drama, the acting is good but not stellar, and the film is only about a small portion of German culture (that doesn't even exist anymore). How can a movie like that be a major step in German culture? I'll tell you... This movie deals with History. Not just history, modern history. the ONLY people in Germany who haven't lived through this period in History are children under the age of 9 (as of the release of this film in 1999) EVERYONE was touched by the cold war and the split of Germany into east and west. In my opinion, the day a culture can joke about its history is the day in which they have come to terms with what happened and have accepted the facts... Sonnenallee is the first film (to my knowledge) that has satirized former East Germany and its everyday life (including the Stasi...secret service and the Grenzpolizei.. boarder patrol) To me this shows that the Germans have accepted their history and are ready to move on... Bravo!!!!! :-)
8 out of 12 people found the following review useful:
Great movie !, 4 September 2000
Author: marco-111 from Vancouver, Canada
I caught this one on a long flight from Singapore to Vancouver in German
with English subtitles and I really loved it, it was really funny and sad
some ways at the same time.
I probably can relate to it more than the average North American because I grew up in Europe, but I think the movie would be very enjoyable for more or less everybody, and surely better than some crappy movies recently seen on this side of the ocean
Highly recommended if you can find it.
4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
a funny piece of history, 16 October 1999
Author: bandit-15 (email@example.com) from germany
'Sonnenallee' is definitly the funniest german pic this year and furthermore a perfectly developed piece of history, that soon will be forgotten trough to the fall of the berlin wall. The biggest plus on Leander Haussmanns film is the cast of no-names, who give so much realism to the flick that you feel thrown back in time without any doubt. And I laughed troughout the whole 90 minutes. Nevertheless will it be difficult for the movie to get real attention outside germany trough to the specific theme, but a must for everyone inside this country.
5 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
Fantastic!, 26 October 2001
Author: ally from Vienna
The movie deals with a serious problem in a very good way. The comedic scenes are always at the right time, usually I don't like German movies that much, but this one is definitely one of the best! The character of "Wuschel" is gorgeous, I can only recommend this movie. ally
1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Fun and a bit of sadness to let people know about DDR, 24 September 2009
Author: Ulisseinviaggio from Bassano del Grappa (Vicenza) Italy
When I saw this movie I was in Germany for a period of studying with my university, and in the first days I was there, we attended a small course to let us know something more about German culture... anyway, in those first days our teacher proposed to see this movie, because she thought it could be useful for us, and she was right!! I didn't understand all the things the characters said ( I didn't know so good the language at that time ), but I could understand the major situations and make myself a small idea of the atmosphere the people in East Berlin lived in... the great thing is that they make it not with a drama, but using irony, awkward situations and lots of fun!! I will see it soon again, but I recommend it to everybody if someone wants to laugh, but also to think a bit about the problems the totalitarianism brought with it. Ciao dall'Italia!!
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