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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 109,268 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 helicopter that flies past Alex' mother carrying a statue of Lenin is a Mil Mi-8 transport helicopter that was widely used in all Warsaw Pact states. In the GDR it was used specifically in the role of a flying crane. 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 »


Sigmund Jähn: Where to?
Alexander Kerner: Wannsee
Sigmund Jähn: I know what you think. Everyone does. But I'm not him.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Featured in Auge in Auge - Eine deutsche Filmgeschichte (2008) See more »


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

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User Reviews

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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