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Good Bye Lenin! (2003)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  14 May 2004 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 109,223 users   Metascore: 68/100
Reviews: 226 user | 151 critic | 32 from Metacritic.com

In 1990, to protect his fragile mother from a fatal shock after a long coma, a young man must keep her from learning that her beloved nation of East Germany as she knew it has disappeared.


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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 32 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Maria Simon ...
Michael Gwisdek ...
Christine Schorn ...
Jürgen Holtz ...
Herr Ganske
Jochen Stern ...
Herr Mehlert
Stefan Walz ...
Sigmund Jähn
Eberhard Kirchberg ...
Hans-Uwe Bauer ...
Dr. Mewes
Nico Ledermueller ...
Alex - 11 Jahre (as Nico Ledermüller)


East Germany, the year 1989: A young man protests against the regime. His mother watches the police arresting him and suffers a heart attack and falls into a coma. Some months later, the GDR does not exist anymore and the mother awakes. Since she has to avoid every excitement, the son tries to set up the GDR again for her in their flat. But the world has changed a lot. Written by Benjamin Stello

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The German Democratic Republic lives on -- in 79 square meters! See more »


Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for brief language and sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





| |

Release Date:

14 May 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Good Bye Lenin!  »

Box Office


€4,800,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$2,450,171 (Germany) (14 February 2003)


$4,063,859 (USA) (30 July 2004)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


(archive footage)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The story is loosely based on the last two years of V.I. Lenin's life, living in a controlled environment similar to what is portrayed in the film. With the justification that over-excitement might cause Lenin health problems, Joseph Stalin had printed for him one-copy edition newspapers, censored of all news about the political struggles of the time. See more »


Alex puts the contents of a pack of Jacobs coffee into GDR packaging, but the logo on the Western coffee package is the one that was launched in the late '90s. See more »


Ariane Kerner: You were in a coma. Eight months ago.
Christiane Kerner: Eight months? What happened?
Ariane Kerner: Yeah, it was...
Alexander Kerner: It was in October, in the supermarket. There was this enormous queue and it was really hot and you just passed out.
Christiane Kerner: In October?
Alexander Kerner: It was a really hot October. At the time.
See more »

Crazy Credits

A CPR instructional diagram is included in the end credits. See more »


References Amélie (2001) See more »


Comptine D'un Autre Été: L'après Midi
by Yann Tiersen
See more »

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User Reviews

A beautiful portrayal of family and politics
9 December 2004 | by (Beverley Hills, England) – See all my reviews

The concept of this movie, which is that a young man has to do all in his power to stop his mother who is recovering from a heart attack learning of what's happened to Germany while she was in a coma, is absolutely delicious, but it's a premise that could easily go wrong. However, I'm pleased to report that it certainly didn't go wrong, and through interesting characterisation, a great script and some thought-provoking ideas; Good Bye, Lenin! is a winner all the way! An excellent ensemble gives way to a story that has a lot of heart, and one that makes it's points - both politically and otherwise - without the use of a sledgehammer. Good Bye, Lenin! is one of those films that is what you make of it; on the one hand, it's a touching and entertaining story of a boy's journey into adulthood and his love for his mother, but on the other hand; it's a biting political satire that intertwines themes of how our perception of certain truths can impact our lives.

Daniel Brühl, a young Spanish talent, takes the lead role as 'Alex', the young man at the centre of the tale. Through his subtle acting, Daniel is able to capture the determination and adoration that epitomise his character wonderfully. He is joined by the beautiful Chulpan Khamatova, Maria Simon and Alexander Beyer, who lend support to Brühl, as his girlfriend, sister and sister's boyfriend respectively, along with Kathrin Sass, who takes the central role of the mother recovering from a heart attack. I can't pick a single fault with any one of them. The setting of the fall of the Berlin Wall serves as a great place to set this story, as it allows the film to give a commentary on the changes of Germany's political landscape at the same time as allowing us to take in themes of family, love and the perception of truth that are abundantly clear. There aren't many bad things that I can say about it, and the only one really is that it can be a bit over sentimental at times. On the whole, however, Good Bye, Lenin! is an absolute treat and most certainly one of the better movies to have been released so far this decade.

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