Good Bye, Lenin!

Screening on Film
$5 Weekend Matinee Admission or Free with Cambridge Public Library Card
Directed by Wolfgang Becker.
With Daniel Brühl, Katrin Saß, Chulpan Khamatova.
Germany, 2003, 35mm, color and b&w, 121 min.
German, English and Russian with English subtitles.
Print source: Goethe-Institut, Munich

At the time one of the most successful German films ever made, Wolfgang Becker’s clever tragicomedy begins in East Germany in 1989, right before the fall of the Berlin Wall. Alex’s mother has slipped into a coma, missing the historic event and its aftermath. When she awakens in 1990, any excitement could be fatal for her, so her son—Daniel Brühl in his breakthrough role—sees only one way out: he must conceal the fall of the socialist regime she had so embraced and pretend East Germany still exists. Out goes the modern furniture and back comes her old bedroom, as well as now hard-to-find products like her favorite Spreewaldgurken (East German pickles). As the modern world threatens to encroach on his carefully constructed time capsule, Alex and his coworker at a satellite TV company even create an “alternative” history for her evening news program. The film playfully and poignantly expresses that disorienting period of change and nostalgia. Thirty years later, find out what it is like, in Becker’s words, “when your everyday culture suddenly stops overnight and is replaced by something else.”

Age recommendation: 15+. Content advisory: Nudity, strong language and alcohol consumption.

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