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 35 wins & 14 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Hello, Masterpiece! See more (222 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)
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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
Conny Klein .... still photographer
Ralph Kächele .... director of photography: second unit
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
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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:
At the birthday party when Rainer tries to hide from Christiane his West German origin, he almost says he was a Gauleiter in the children's Pioneer movement. A Gauleiter was the name given to a regional Nazi party leader.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: After Ariane finds the letters from her father hidden in the kitchen, she holds one on which Christiane's name is misspelled as Christine.See more »
Quotes:
Alexander Kerner:On the evening of October 7, 1989 several hundred people got together for some evening exercise and marched for the right to go for walks without the Berlin Wall getting in their way.See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
Comptine D'un Autre Été: L'après MidiSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
142 out of 158 people found the following review useful.
Hello, Masterpiece!, 19 April 2004
Author: Cowman (cowman777@hotmail.com) from The Mitten State, USA

The destruction of the Berlin Wall in 1989 was a historically significant event not just for the people of Germany, but also for much of the rest of the world. Aside from reuniting two vastly different political systems, this remarkable incident marked a turning point for the capitalist uprising occurring within many of the other socialist states. Filmmakers worldwide have since explored the causes and effects of the German Reunification, and even today, they continue to bring new insight and a fresh perspective to an event that occurred nearly fifteen years ago. Wolfgang Becker's GOOD BYE, LENIN! is among the most recent of such films, and probably among the best of them as well.

Rather than charging head-on at a specific political standing, GOOD BYE, LENIN! uses carefully controlled satire to poke fun at the absurdities of both communist and capitalist societies. And despite criticism from gung-ho supporters of either system, Becker is careful not to take sides or appear sympathetic toward any political institution. Instead of concentrating exclusively on the governmental changes of the newly reunified Germany, he wisely opts to narrow his focus on the effects that these changes have on one particular Berlin family. By doing this, Becker is able to show the challenges of adapting to a new, unfamiliar way of life in a context that is much more personal and easier for the viewer to identify with.

The humor in GOOD BYE, LENIN! is plentiful, and Becker takes advantage of every possible opportunity to fit in a comedic moment. Even during the most somber parts of the story, the film never lets go of its astute sense of humor; and because the humor is always thought-provoking and cleverly executed, it never feels forced or gratuitous. The running joke about Alex's unremitting quest for Spreewald pickle jars and the scene where Alex's bedridden mother is perplexed by the Coca-Cola banner hanging from the building across from hers' are brilliant examples of the movie's sharp, yet sensitive wit. Aside from just being funny in themselves, these bits work doubly well because of their uses of symbolism and metaphor. The Spreewald pickles, now impossible to find because of the fall of the GDR, are representative of the `good old days' when Alex was familiar with the ways of his country and when his mother was in good health. His almost frantic search for them shows his longing to return to the way things used to be. Likewise, the unfurling of the Coca-Cola banner is the perfect embodiment of all the capitalist changes occurring within the new Germany. Once you begin to see the Coca-Cola and Burger King logos, you know that capitalism has truly grabbed hold and that there is now no escaping its embrace, for better or for worse.

GOOD BYE, LENIN! makes great use of this type of imagery to emphasize the country's transformation and to provide insight to the emotions of the main characters. A most notable instance of this is the scene where Alex's mother, a staunch supporter of socialism, finally leaves her home to a very different East Germany than the one she remembered. She then looks to the sky and sees a helicopter airlifting a statue of Lenin off the top of a building. As Lenin is being hauled away, his outstretched arm seems to be reaching out to her, as if he's calling out for her to rescue him and his ideals, and restore her beloved country.

Alex's complex lies and meticulous attempts at preserving the past for his mother are innocent enough at first, but eventually they begin to take on a life of their own. The lengths he goes through to maintain the atmosphere of a bygone era and keep his mother happy are indeed funny, but they are also very tragic as well. Though the lies do work temporarily to keep his mother oblivious to the events outside of her apartment, they also plunge Alex and his family into such a deep pool of deception that they eventually lose their closeness with one another. The stress of keeping up the façade becomes unbearable for Alex, and at one point he even wishes his mother were dead.

Other humor was purely cultural, and probably only appreciable by people who have actually experienced the Reunification. I noticed this only because of the native German family sitting in front of me at the theater, laughing in unison at dialogue and images that didn't look to me like they were meant to be interpreted as humorous. But still, even though the older generations of German people are likely to get more out of this movie, it is still a hilarious, heartfelt, and incredibly rewarding experience for people of all cultures and ethnicities.

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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
Rainer hermione47
Movie don't praise socialism and capitalism buraktheauthor
It's not about capitalism and communism. It's about the end of a world chloe-kielbasiewicz
'OSTALGIE' AND 'MAGIC SOCIALIST REALISM' reserved for SERIOUS discussion gustaff90
Questions about what was said in the movie alexparvan87
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