IMDb > Good Bye Lenin! (2003)
Good Bye Lenin!
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Good Bye Lenin! (2003) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

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Director:
Writers:
Bernd Lichtenberg (written by)
Wolfgang Becker (co-author)
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Good Bye Lenin! on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
13 February 2003 (Germany) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Die DDR lebt weiter -- auf 79 qm! See more »
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Nominated for Golden Globe. Another 32 wins & 14 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
The charming social construction of history See more (223 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Daniel Brühl ... Alex

Katrin Saß ... Mutter

Chulpan Khamatova ... Lara
Maria Simon ... Ariane

Florian Lukas ... Denis

Alexander Beyer ... Rainer

Burghart Klaußner ... Alex' Vater
Michael Gwisdek ... Klapprath
Christine Schorn ... Frau Schäfer
Jürgen Holtz ... Herr Ganske
Jochen Stern ... Herr Mehlert
Stefan Walz ... Sigmund Jähn
Eberhard Kirchberg ... Dr. Wagner
Hans-Uwe Bauer ... Dr. Mewes
Nico Ledermueller ... Alex - 11 Jahre (as Nico Ledermüller)
Jelena Kratz ... Ariane - 13 Jahre
Laureen Hatscher ... Baby Paula - 1 Jahr
Felicitas Hatscher ... Baby Paula - 1 Jahr
Martin Brambach ... Stasi 1
Michael Gerber ... Stasi 2
Robert Störr ... Funktionär Ordensverleihung
Philipp Kupfer ... Baby Paula - 3 Monate
Ernst-Georg Schwill ... Taxifahrer
Rainer Werner ... Stasi in Jeansjacke
Marc Bischoff ... Junger Stationsarzt
Horst-Dieter Stork ... Grenzer 1
Hartmut Kuley ... NVA-Offizier
Peter Kurth ... 'X-TV' Chef
Ditmar Bieseke ... Grenzer 2

Arndt Schwering-Sohnrey ... Fahrer Krankenwagen
Dirk Prinz ... Beifahrer

Jürgen Vogel ... Das Küken
Elke Werner ... Verkäuferin HO-Markt
Regina Ziebach ... Gurkenfrau
Wolfgang Stein ... Gurkenmann

Mennan Yapo ... Flohmarktverkäufer
Maximilian Brunow ... Pionier Sascha
Bojan Heyn ... Pionier Niko
Fritz Roth ... Pförtner Coca-Cola

Armin Dillenberger ... Bankangestellter
Denys Darahan ... Pionier Christian
Bastian Lang ... Pionier Frank
Lothar Schlichthar ... Dicker Mann am Pool
Alexander Reed ... Wuppertaler
Ute Michel ... Frauenärztin (as Dr. Ute Michel)
Svea Timander ... Vaters neue Frau

Hanna Schwamborn ... Carla
Rafael Hübner ... Thomas
Michael Berge ... Partyredner
Rey Agana
Marcel Bellin
Aandrea Bork
Angelo Bossert
Christiane Brauer
Igor-Immanuel Bruckhaus
Mimmo Catania
Toni Filler
Meike Frerichs
Marc Geiselhart
Charline Gülle
Leonore Haberkorn
Bjoern Heinrich
Torsten Heyroth
Jasmin Hoffmann
Clemens Holzendorff
Susann Hotze
Wasin Jung
André Kindzorra
Dieter Kraft
Jörn Itzeck
Simone Kruse
Kai-Quin Liang
Fred Luck
Karoline Metzig
Utz Neumann
Christoph Olonczik
Marakorn Praphawat
Pham Quang (as Quang Pham)
Sebastian Raehse
Michelle Reed
Jacqueline Schachmann
Angelika Schmegg
Wolfgang Schreiber
Florian Seiffge
Michael Stübing
Christian Trautsch
Adrian Wolff
Andreas Thieck ... SFB-Nachrichtensprecher (voice)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Klaus Augenthaler ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Willy Brandt ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Guido Buchwald ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Lothar de Maizière ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Michael Gempart ... Grenzer (uncredited)
Hans-Dietrich Genscher ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Mikhail Gorbachev ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Raisa Gorbachev ... Herself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Erich Honecker ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Sigmund Jähn ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Hannelore Kohl ... Herself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Helmut Kohl ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Egon Krenz ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Oskar Lafontaine ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Lothar Matthäus ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Erich Mielke ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Walter Momper ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Monika Reineck ... Demonstrantin 1. Reihe bei Straßenschlacht mit Stasi-Leuten (uncredited)
Karl-Heinz Riedle ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Eduard Shevardnadze ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Sarah Tkotsch ... Mitglied des Pionierchors (uncredited)
Angelika Unterlauf ... Herself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Rudi Völler ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Chris Waddle ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Ulrich Wohlleben ... Partygast (uncredited)

Directed by
Wolfgang Becker 
 
Writing credits
Bernd Lichtenberg (written by)

Wolfgang Becker (co-author)

Achim von Borries (collaborator on screenplay) &
Hendrik Handloegten (collaborator on screenplay) &
Christoph Silber (collaborator on screenplay)

Produced by
Stefan Arndt .... producer
Katja De Bock .... producer: WDR
Marcos Kantis .... line producer
Paul Müller .... line producer
Andreas Schreitmüller .... producer: arte
Manuela Stehr .... co-producer
 
Original Music by
Yann Tiersen 
 
Cinematography by
Martin Kukula 
 
Film Editing by
Peter R. Adam 
 
Casting by
Simone Bär (casting)
 
Production Design by
Lothar Holler 
 
Art Direction by
Matthias Klemme 
 
Costume Design by
Aenne Plaumann 
 
Makeup Department
Birger Laube .... makeup artist: "Sigmund Jähn"
Lena Lazzarotto .... makeup artist
Heike Merker .... makeup artist
Björn Rehbein .... hair stylist
Björn Rehbein .... makeup artist
Sabine Schumann .... makeup artist: second unit
Madeleine Spremberg .... additional makeup artist
 
Production Management
Milanka Comfort .... production manager
François Doge .... unit production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Susanne Boeing .... second assistant director
Sarah Gross .... first assistant director
Scott Kirby .... first assistant director: additional shooting
Marcus Welsch .... second assistant director
 
Art Department
Ulrich Christian .... property master
Andrea Eisensee .... set dresser
Holger Isenberg .... construction manager
Claudia Kiefer .... props: second unit
Christian Schaefer .... set designer
Kay Scziegel .... props (as Kay-Uwe Scziegel)
Timo Scziegel .... art department runner
Harald Serowski .... art director: reshoots
Wolfgang Wrede .... painter
Marco Pressler .... construction manager (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Christoph Dudek .... sound
Lars Ginzel .... sound effects editor
Jochen Isfort .... first boom operator
Dirk Jacob .... sound designer (as Dirk W. Jacob)
Kai-Uwe Koch .... adr editor
Frank Kruse .... foley editor
Torsten Löhn .... assistant sound
Martin Müller .... sound: second unit
Michael Müller .... foley editor
Jörn Poetzl .... foley artist
Alexander Schaefer .... second boom operator
Wolfgang Schukrafft .... original sound
Philipp Sellier .... foley recordist
Kuen-Il Song .... sound effects editor
Martin Steyer .... sound mixer
Kai Tebbel .... sound editor
Christoph Ulbich .... voiceover recordist
Susy Wehrli .... sound: second unit
 
Special Effects by
Sven Asamoa .... special effects
Thorsten Thiesse .... special effects
 
Visual Effects by
Max Hattler .... visual effects
Manfred Kraemer .... visual effects (as Manfred Krämer)
Natalie Maximova .... visual effects (as Natala Maksimova)
Milena Nikolova .... visual effects
Moritz Peters .... visual effects
Sven Pohle .... visual effects
Matze Scharfenberg .... scanning
Andreas Schellenberg .... visual effects
Bastian Schreitling .... visual effects
Florian Schroeder .... visual effects (as Florian Schröder)
Gerhard Spring .... scanning
Dominik Trimborn .... scanning
Gunnar Wittig .... visual effects
 
Stunts
Mattias Bark .... stunts
Rainer Clemens .... stunts
Sven Decker .... stunts
Sascha Girndt .... stunts
Tom Jester .... stunts
Mario Linse .... stunts
Olaf Mahlitz .... stunts
Sascha Meissner .... stunts
Veith Oeser .... stunts
Katja Richter .... stunts (as Katja Keya Richter)
Andreas Schwarz .... stunts
Steve Thiede .... stunts
Rainer Werner .... stunt coordinator
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Juan José Alcaide .... electrician (as Juan José Alcaide Perez)
Klemens Becker .... Steadicam operator
Franco Bertone .... electrician
Dieter Bähr .... grip
Carlos Dessbesell-Schüler .... clapper loader: second unit
Sonny Christian Fels .... electrician
Wolfgang Franke .... dolly grip
Matthias Ganghofer .... assistant camera
Frank Griebe .... cinematographer: additional shooting
Birgit Gudjonsdottir .... director of photography: second unit
Jan Hartmann .... assistant camera: second unit
Benjamin Hertzog .... electrician
Ralph Kaechele .... director of photography: second unit (as Ralph Kächele)
Conny Klein .... still photographer
Christoph Manz .... assistant camera
Dirk Merten .... video operator
Florian Niedermeier .... electrician
Dirk Plamböck .... still photographer: second unit
Helmut Prein .... gaffer: phase 2
Christian Scheibe .... grip
Michael Schuff .... electrician
Tommy Schulz .... gaffer
Frank Schwaiger .... assistant camera
Thorsten Schwytay .... assistant camera
Martin Sell .... electrician
Jörg Widmer .... Steadicam operator
 
Casting Department
Susanne Boeing .... casting: children
Martina Hennicke .... extras casting
Kirstin Plotz .... casting assistant
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Antje Hentze .... additional costumer
Anne Kerstan .... wardrobe
Barbara Koeppl .... wardrobe
Petra Langer .... additional costumer
Uta Müller .... additional costumer
Heidrun Schlüter .... additional costumer
Christine Seehofer .... assistant costume designer
Frank Specht .... wardrobe: second unit
 
Editorial Department
Sam Daley .... colorist: high definition mastering
Jessica Ehlebracht .... assistant editor
Patricia Ferbeck .... negative cutter
Charly Huser .... color timer
Boris Mang .... post-production coordinator
Traudl Nicholson .... color timer
Antje Zynga .... assistant editor
 
Music Department
Xaver Naudascher .... composer: additional score
Xaver Naudascher .... score mixer
Wolfgang Richter .... composer: song "Unser Sandmännchen"
Andro Steinborn .... music supervisor
 
Transportation Department
Alexander Müller-Lenhartz .... production driver
 
Other crew
Uli Adomat .... production accountant
Regine Baschny .... unit publicist
Mathias Braun .... location scout
Christiane Collinge .... 2nd location manager
Daniele Drobny .... production designer: additional shooting
Michael Foertsch .... caterer
Ines Frederich .... first location manager
Peter Futschik .... account assistant
Marion Gerhardt .... location scout
Jan Ole Gerster .... post-production
Darius Ghanai .... title designer
Hannes Gronenberg .... trainee
Angela Grundt .... assistant location manager
Hendrik Handloegten .... co-author
Michael Konstabel .... archive researcher
Christoph Kukula .... production assistant
Felix Leitermann .... location manager
Gisela Liesenfeld .... assistant: Mr. Arndt
Franziska Linke .... production assistant
Boris Mang .... post-production
Bibbi Müller .... second location manager
Sepp Reidinger .... laboratory manager
Sybille Rohde .... production coordinator
Marco Schenke .... crowd marshall
Sandra Scheucher .... script supervisor: second unit
Christoph Silber .... script consultant
Sally Steele .... publicist
Andro Steinborn .... head of business/legal affairs
Martin Storck .... assistant accountant
Caroline Veyssière .... continuity
Caroline Veyssière .... script
Achim von Borries .... co-author
Eva Weber .... laboratory manager
Ulf Israel .... assistant to producer (uncredited)
 
Thanks
Sigmund Jähn .... special thanks
Dieter Kürten .... thanks
Dani Levy .... special thanks
Edda Reiser .... thanks
Michael Schmid-Ospach .... special thanks
Tom Tykwer .... special thanks
Jürgen Vogel .... special thanks
Ingeborg Westphal .... special thanks
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
MPAA:
Rated R for brief language and sexuality
Runtime:
121 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Black and White (archive footage) | Color
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Florian Lukas was originally cast as Alex. When director Wolfgang Becker chose Daniel Brühl for that role, he offered Lukas the role of Denis.See more »
Goofs:
Revealing mistakes: As Alex is being driven away from his mother in the truck at night, you can see faint blue sky in the background.See more »
Quotes:
Sigmund Jähn:Socialism doesn't mean live behind a Wall. Socialism means reach the others and live with the others.See more »
Movie Connections:
References "Der schwarze Kanal" (1960)See more »
Soundtrack:
Comptine D'un Autre Été: L'après MidiSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
195 out of 227 people found the following review useful.
The charming social construction of history, 24 May 2004
Author: J. Richard Stevens from Austin, TX

I found this movie to be a charming film and very engaging on both a personal and a social level. The story is drawn from the lives of an East Berlin family struggling to cope with the changing world as their way of life is challenged. The father, having reportedly left the family for the West years before, is not present and the mother replaces her spousal needs with the love of her country and its way of life.

The premise of the film centers on the frail mother, who falls into a coma mere weeks before the fall of the Berlin wall. Eight months later, she regains consciousness, and her children are told not to excite her, lest she have another episode.

Bound by their love of their mother, the son and daughter seek to shield her from the changes in her culture. In their apartment, they recreate the conditions of the world she remembers, right down to the labels on the food they serve her. As the mother comes into contact with the inevitable disparities between her new world and the one she remembers, the son compounds the deception, eventually creating false newscasts to explain the phenomena she witnesses in a manner more consistent with her core assumptions of life.

The film is touching, tender, funny and dramatic. However, the elements that really drew me in were the historical construction and the plot device of deception.

The historical construction was the way in which the son, through his efforts to explain the increasingly Westernized elements of German society his mother observes, recreates East Germany as the country he could have faith in. As he recreates history to incorporate current events, he softens the harshness of the party rhetoric, reforming the socialistic ideal closer to the compassion for the masses and the acceptance of the 'enemy' capitalists. The film makes ample use of actual news footage in his narrative, footage that adds sharp contrast to Alex's version.

This contrast is a striking reminder about how much of our social conscience is constructed through the lenses we choose to observe reality and recall history. Alex had quickly come to give up his socialist devotion (though the film does make it clear form the beginning that the adult Alex was already disenchanted with it). But as Alex fabricates news reports and artifacts for the illusion he's providing his mother, he actually appears to be inventing a system of socialism that he can feel proud of. It's almost as if in trying to console his mother, he connects to her by reinterpreting her world into something he can interface with, building common ground.

How much of our own social history is constructed in this manner? We champion our own system of free market democracy as the 'city on the hill' for other nations. We raise up the virtues of our freedom and individuality (and there are indisputably many virtues), while ignoring some of the more sorted historical results it has yielded. We choose which portions of our history we celebrate, and which portions we condemn to academic obscurity.

Americans use history to construct our national mythology. Like Homer and Virgil before us, we compose idealized stories of virtue and create narratives that resound with the language of legendary epics. And because of this mythology building exercise, we often fail to see our own cultural reality for the flawed imperfect collection of group effort that it is. That's why we feel so betrayed when our leaders make simple human mistakes or we see representatives of our culture participating in a manner that runs counter to our values.

No where is this phenomenon so pronounced as when it comes to our national leaders. We look back on our founding fathers and through our myth building, elevate them to superhuman stature. Our high school students may not remember what wars Washington fought in or what political initiatives he took but they remember that he cut down a (fictional) cherry tree and refused to lie about it.

We remember the elegant words that our predecessors crafted without remembering the pain and suffering their efforts exacted from other people. We remember that Thomas Jefferson advocated 'Equal and exact justice to all men, of whatever state or persuasion, religious or political …' while conveniently forgetting that he was ambivalent at best to the degree that freedom extended to those in a state of slavery. We forget that founding father quarreled, that at times they misrepresented each other's interest to foreign leaders and that on occasion may have even tried to kill one another.

The founding fathers we remembered were well educated, civil and wise.

Against this tapestry of myth we watch contemporary politics play out, trying desperately to spin events into frameworks that reinforce our desires for justice and virtue.

We are all Alex, trying to reconstruct a new view of history that makes us more proud of where we come from. We invent and reinvent history to suit our needs and like Alex, do so in the name of providing a safe environment (or better way of life) for others.

Was the above review useful to you?
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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Good Bye Lenin! (2003)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Who is Lenin? firelucifer
Am I missing something or is this a goof? green-cows
The plot was not believable (--POSSIBLE SPOILER ALERT--) jdown-1
Deserved better trottta
It's not about capitalism and communism. It's about the end of a world chloe-kielbasiewicz
Questions about what was said in the movie alexparvan87
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