For two weeks, 20 male participants are hired to play prisoners and guards in a prison. The "prisoners" have to follow seemingly mild rules, and the "guards" are told to retain order without using physical violence.
Strange events happen in a small village in the north of Germany during the years just before World War I, which seem to be ritual punishment. The abused and suppressed children of the villagers seem to be at the heart of this mystery.
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
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 »
When Alex goes to the supermarket to buy his mom's favorite pickles, he asks an employee where to find them. The employee is tagging cases of Pepsi. The Pepsi logo on the cans is the modern day logo, not the one in the early-'90s. See more »
I didn't have too many expectations for this film. My partner pitched it to me as a comedy, and I hadn't seen the trailer in a while so I went into thinking that's all it would be. Instead, it really was a sublimely sophisticated film.
I had the good fortune to see East Berlin first in July 1989 (there was *ZERO* hint that the wall would be down in 4 months) and then in February 1990. It was an amazing before and after, and I thought this film captured this very well. As a visitor to the East for several months that year, this film really brought back to me the East European Quiet Revolution when everything really did change.
The characters going through that change are of course an allegory for the changes all around them- '40 years gone! They sold us up river!' says an old man who represents those who 'lost' in the reunification contrasted to those who won-the youth. Similarly, the contrast of personal re-unification (the children and their father) vs that of the east and west is a wonderfully treated theme through the film . And of course lies. Lies to comfort us, lies to deal with other lies. A very, very touching film.
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