German subscription cinema and literature

15. Goodbye Lenin

goodbye lenin

Reasons to study this work

The film is both amusing and informative, presenting as it does a considerable amount of  detail about life in the former DDR and about die Wende.    One of the most popular German films currently being studied by English students, the film merits study even if filmically maybe it "over eggs the omelette" a little and is over long.

The interest of the work

Confrontations between police and protesters are becoming more and more violent as the last days of the DDR approach.  Alex's ideologically committed mother suffers a heart attack in the street during a demonstration and by the time she has recovered the Berlin wall has fallen and the two Germanys are rapidly coming together. 

Alex is warned that any shock could kill his mother so in order to protect her from the perils of capitalism he works with his friends and family to pretend that things are still as they were before.   Junge Pioniere parade infront of her bed singing communist songs, DDR food is put infront of her to eat and Alex and his friend go so far as to produce doctored versions of the TV news for her.

Go to course

Goodbye Lenin