I watched Good Bye Lenin! and it really was great to hear the German language again. I had to make a real conscious effort not to read the subtitles and listen to the words so that my brain could get used to translating the meaning without reading it. I was very pleasantly surprised by how much I could understand and how much German vocabulary I had retained.
About The Film
Good bye Lenin is a film set in East Berlin around the time of the reunification of Germany. Narrated by Alexander, played by the lovely Daniel Brühl, we find out that his mother, Christiane is a proud East German and proud communist. However she is injured during a demonstration and ends up in a coma. While she is unconscious, major changes happen in Germany such as the fall of the Berlin wall, the change in currency, the introduction of commercialism and capitalism and the removal of communist structures and statues.
Christiane awakens from her coma and because the doctors have warned that any stress could cause a relapse, Alexander persuades his friends and family to help convince his bedridden mother that nothing has changed and that her beloved East Germany still remains communist.
This was a sweet tragic-comedy about a son who wants to make life better for his mother while also enjoying the commercial advantages of reunification and the changes throughout Germany.
I visited Germany before and after unification so it was really fun to see things and places that I recognised and remembered such as going in the supermarkets and seeing the, to western eyes, old fashioned advertising and packaging as well as riding in a tiny Trabant car.
Watching Good Bye Lenin was a little bit like taking a walk down memory lane (when I was in Germany as an au pair) and I look forward to seeing more German language films in the future.
Find out more about Daniel Bruhl
Find out more about Good Bye Lenin!