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Today I want to introduce a German movie to you that satirizes some aspects of the German Wiedervereinigung (reunion). The film is called Good-Bye Lenin and the story goes something like this:
In 1989, Alex Kerner and his mother Christiane are living in East Berlin. Shortly before the Mauer (wall) falls, Alex`s Mother, who is a dedicated supporter of the German Democratic Republic, has a Herzinfarkt (heart attack) and falls into a coma. During this coma, the Berlin Wall falls and the GDR becomes history. Most people celebrate the triumph of Kapitalismus (capitalism).
Eight months later, Christine awakes and seems to recover well. But now Alex has a big problem: How should he protect her mother´s geschwächtes (weakend) heart from a shock that would be unevitable? For she is not used to Coca-Cola, MacDonalds, Porsche and Mercedes.
So Alex is a smart guy and he decides to reconstruct the Deutsche Demokratische Republik (German Democratic Republic). At least in their small apartment. But this is sometimes harder than he ever imagined. A big Coca Cola Banner in front of a window of the apartment and former products that doesn´t exist anymore are just two problems that he faces while pretending that everything is still the same. His efforts to keep all the historical changes from his mother are both funny and rührend (poignant). But as time goes by, Alex reinvents history and creates a new version of what happened during his mothers` Koma (coma).
A friend of Alex even helps him to record their own version of the Nachrichtensendung (TV newscast) to show Christiane on video. As you can imagine, this is one of the funniest scenes in the whole film.
The movie was made in 2003 by Wolfgang Becker and was very succesfull in Germany as well as in other countries. I don´t exactly know if there is an English version, but I guess so. So if you go to a well equiped video store, you might find it.
Daniel Brühl: Alexander Kerner
Katrin Sass: Christiane Kerner
Maria Simon: Ariane Kerner
Tschulpan Chamatowa: Lara
Florian Lukas: Denis
Here´s a trailer with English subtitles:
Some vocabulary to this post:
die Wiedervereinigung – reunion
die Mauer – wall
der Herzinfarkt – heart attack
der Kapitalismus – capitalism
geschwächt – weakend
Deutsche Demokratische Republik – German Democratic Republic
rührend – poignant
das Koma – coma
die Nachrichtensendung – TV newscast