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.
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
As Chulpan Khamatova did not speak enough German to improvise properly, she had to learn her (grammatically correct) sentences word for word. Because this did not sound natural, all of her phrases were translated into Russian and then translated back word for word to get a natural Russian accent with all typical grammar mistakes. See more »
Denis wears a "digital rain"-style T-shirt in 1989 because he has developed the idea himself and has come up with an idea for a film exactly like The Matrix, which he describes in a deleted scene (the letters are not identical to the Matrix scheme.) The joke is that the idea originated in East Germany; compare the claim in one of Denis's fake news shows that the Coca-Cola formula was invented there. It also ties in to the film's main theme of keeping people in a simulated reality. See more »
'Good Bye, Lenin!' is a fascinating German film that was for unclear reasons denied a best foreign film nomination in the recent Oscars, but I consider it one of the best films I've seen this year. 'Good Bye, Lenin!' is an entertaining and surreal black comedy, that doesn't really stand the test of logic and reality, but beneath the surface it's really a very socially conscious film, that gets across very well the atmosphere and problems of the post-communist East Germany.
The story is of Alex, whose mother, a devoted member of the Communist Party, suffers a heart attack which sends her into a coma - through which she sleeps throughout the months of revolution and the fall of the communist regime. When she awakes, the doctors warn Alex not to cause his mother any anxiety or excitement; therefore, he goes to ludicrously immense lengths to keep her convinced that communism in East Berlin is still alive. Not much of it, once again, stands the test of reason, but it's incredibly witty and entertaining, and manages, throughout, to get across some powerful statements.
'Good Bye, Lenin!' is both fun and important, a film which I recommend to everyone. Don't be afraid of European cinema; even though the film might be difficult to come by, it's very rewarding and well worth your time.
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