7.7/10
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Good Bye Lenin! (2003)

R | | Drama, Romance | 14 May 2004 (USA)
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 & 17 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

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)
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

14 May 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Good Bye Lenin!  »

Box Office

Budget:

€4,800,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

$4,063,859 (USA) (30 July 2004)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(archive footage)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The building Alex and Dennis use in their "Coca Cola news bulletin" is the same one Billy Wilder used for One, Two, Three (1961). See more »

Goofs

In one sequence in the background you can see the Berolina-Bulidung at the Alexanderplatz. On the roof you can see the sign of the bank company "Bankgesellschaft Berlin". In the time between the fall of Berlin-wall (Nov.1989) and Germany's reunion (October 1990) there was no Bankgesellschaft Berlin situated in East-Berlin. The Company bought the Berolina Building in 1993. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
[spoiler]
Alexander Kerner: [voiceover] My mother outlived the GDR by three days. I believe it was a good thing she never learned the truth. She died happy. She wanted us to scatter her ashes to the winds. That's prohibited in Germany, both East and West. But we didn't care.
[launches rocket]
Alexander Kerner: She's up there somewhere now. Maybe looking down at us. Maybe she sees us as tiny specks on the Earth's surface, just like Sigmund Jähn did back then. The country my mother left behind was a country she believed in...
See more »

Crazy Credits

All i's, except the one in Lenin, are lower case. See more »

Connections

References A Clockwork Orange (1971) See more »

Soundtracks

Comptine d'un autre Été : L'après-midi
by Yann Tiersen
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User Reviews

 
Refreshing
6 January 2005 | by (Glasgow, UK) – See all my reviews

This was a good film, and I think it needed to be made. A way of life disappeared in Europe, perhaps forever, and it seems appropriate that the fall of Communism has thus been documented.

The basic premise of "Goodbye Lenin" is that the young man's mother is in a coma over the months when the Berlin Wall is coming down. She wakes up (oblivious) in united Germany, but as she is so fragile she cannot be allowed to know that everything she held dear has collapsed. What ensues is a comic and moving scenario - her son does his best to pretend that nothing has changed.

Yes, the movie is a little drawn-out. And most of the comedy is lost on non-Germans, or those unaware of the political climate in the region. However, there are clear universal issues to be considered; idealism, hope, family. There is one particular scene which I thought encompassed exactly how the main protagonist feels - he is at a bank trying to change his mother's old East German currency into Deutschmarks but the deadline has passed. He becomes aggravated by the sheep-like behaviour of his peers. After all, this is their culture being crushed by McCapitalism, but their individual vaunting ambition blinds them from doing something about it. Very refreshing to see this on the big screen.

All in all, "Goodbye Lenin" is a nicely-rounded statement of where the European film industry is heading, and it will appeal to most independent-minded people on both an artistic and political level. 8/10.


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