After suffering a heart attack in 1989, a fragile mother wakes from her coma after the fall of the Berlin Wall, and her activist son goes out of his way to keep her from discovering that her beloved East Germany no longer exists.
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One of the rare examples for a German comedy with fine irony and an elaborated storyline - and one of the best German films at the turn of the century. Becker creates a sophisticated scenario that allows him to confront history with alternate history and manages to bring this narration to a logical end.
Two years after "Amélie", this comedy drama had a similar tone, same good mood atmosphere and also had an original way of delivering its story. But it was no romantic comedy. To this day, I can't decide if the movie is tender or sarcastic. It seems to refers to the ortodox "denial" of the end of the soviet bloc, and the necessary acknowledgement of political change. Zizek talks about what something very interesting*
Seppur non sfruttando a pieno il potenziale del soggetto, Becker riesce a miscelare un momento storico di enorme mutamento con una storia di amore familiare e nostalgica comicità, realizzando un lavoro più che dignitoso. Una versione tedesca e socialista dell'idea che ha reso grande Underground di Kusturica.
An excellent comedy film that sees the fall of the Berlin Wall through a political and personal point of view. The music and the plot make an excellent and funny way to see how Alex made almost the impossible to keep his mother from knowing about the disappearance of her beloved country. I loved this film and what it represents to my favorite person in the whole world.
Goodbye Lenin is at once political and pivotal, moving but not overly sentimental, and the perfect depiction of the falling of the Berlin Wall, conveying the exhalations and the woes of those left in the headspace of old Berlin. Impossible to fault.
Of all the reviews I have read, none seem to note the poignancy of Alex's mother, watching her son watch her for a reaction to the fabricated unification of Germany from the opposite side of history. She had already admitted her love of GDR was a farce--one that ruined her family because she was scared she might lose them, but her son's lie, in the end, has nothing to do with politics--only the irony of love.