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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wahnsinn! oder?
Well. This is an absolutely great film. I love it.

It's full of emotion, humour and fireworks. really it is full of fireworks and rockets! Wahnsinn!

The deception behind keeping Frau Kerner (Katrin Sass) in the dark about the reunification is astounding and the humour behind everything is really dry which is typical for German humour. There is one...
Published on 2 Jan. 2007 by Don Simon

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3.0 out of 5 stars More interesting than enjoyable
Set at the time before and after the Berlin Wall comes down in what is initially East Germany. A mother is, or appears to be, a loyal member of the communist party. Indeed, her whole life seems dedicated to its betterment. Her teenage son joins a protest march and she collapses and suffers a cardiac arrest when she sees him beaten by the police. She then slumps into a...
Published 7 months ago by DLG


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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wahnsinn! oder?, 2 Jan. 2007
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This review is from: Good Bye Lenin! [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
Well. This is an absolutely great film. I love it.

It's full of emotion, humour and fireworks. really it is full of fireworks and rockets! Wahnsinn!

The deception behind keeping Frau Kerner (Katrin Sass) in the dark about the reunification is astounding and the humour behind everything is really dry which is typical for German humour. There is one part that really gets me upset for Frau Kerner when the statue of Lenin is flown away - i think it's the music as well - an excellent score throughout.

A subtitled film to warn those who are keen to avoid that but there is so much that would be wrong with the film if it were dubbed.

But it goes to show what some people might do for their mothers even it means saying that a country that no longer exists is thriving!

It may help to know what the reunification of Germany is before you watch it just so you understand what's goign on. But ican recommend this to anyone who understands German humour, history and maybe the language. Enjoy
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Für Mutter, 5 Jan. 2006
By 
Mr. Joe (Glendale, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   
It's October 1989, and East Berliner Alex Kerner (Daniel Brühl), the teenage son of Communist Party stalwart Christiane (Katrin Saß), is arrested during a peaceful demonstration in the streets approaching The Wall. On her way to receive an honor for her service to the German Democratic Republic, Mom witnesses her boy's apprehension and has a heart attack that thrusts her into a coma, which lasts until June 1990. By then, The Wall has effectively been breached, Western capitalism has invaded East Berlin with a vengeance, Christiane's teenage daughter Ariane (Maria Simon) has dropped out of the university to get a job at the new Burger King, where she's taken up with a "Wessie" (a West Berliner), and Alex has fallen for Lara (Chulpan Khamatova), a student nurse from the USSR.
After Alex insists that his mother be released for at-home convalescence, the doctor makes clear that any shock to the patient's system will likely kill her. Since Communism is all that Christiane has ever known, Alex contrives an elaborate scheme to shield his bed-ridden mother from all evidence of The Wall's collapse and the West's victory of materialism over her socialist world. What is she to think of that gigantic Coca-Cola advert hanging from the apartment building opposite her window?
The improbable prospects for the con's success aside, GOOD BYE LENIN is a witty, clever, and sometimes poignant look at the wave of change which swept through East Berlin after the surprisingly sudden meltdown of Die Mauer, carrying forward the young and resilient with the flow, but leaving many bitter, old guard stranded in unfamiliar territory .
Bruehl, resembling a young Christopher Reeve, is enormously engaging as the young man trying to do the right thing for his Mom, especially as it was his civil disobedience that catalyzed her physical debilitation in the first place. Christiane elicits much sympathy from the viewer. But she, too, has a secret that she's been keeping from her children for years.
As a child of the Cold War era - born in 1949 - I gazed transfixed at the TV images in the closing weeks of 1989 as Die Mauer was danced upon and assaulted by raucous Berlin crowds from both the East and West. After all, I'd grown up with The Bomb, the Evil Empire, and Nikita's shoe-pounding at the U.N., and had myself navigated Checkpoint Charlie on a couple of occasions. GOOD BYE LENIN is a glimpse of The Wall's demise from the other side, and with a humorous twist. One only need visit the Berlin of today, pass through the once off-limits Brandenburg Gate, and walk down the Unter den Linden to witness the startling transformation enabled by that event.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best films are made outside of Hollywood, 30 Dec. 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Good Bye Lenin! [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
I won't tell you the story because you've probably read it in the other reviews a dozen times by now, so I'll just cut to what I thought of Goodby Lenin...
Goodbye Lenin is one of those beautiful little films that seems to prove just how 'fake' Hollywood is. As you watch this delightful film it seems so much more real then big Hollywood epics, is there even one special effect in Goodbye Lenin? what's more, does it even matter?
The scene on which the title is based is probably the biggest budget scene in the film, and all they really had to do was hire a hellicopter and it created a great scene anyway.
Part of the delight of this film is the comedy, I admit it's not laugh out loud, but it is gently amusing and makes a very watchable film and the romance isn't of the wishy-washy, sickening variety, either.
Beneath this enjoyable exterior is the story of the fall of the Berlin Wall and Communism, it quickly shows you the matireal differences between Capitalism and Communism, which hours of history lessons failed to hammer in. There is also an air of sadness, yet it still manages to be curiously uplifting, and, like many good films, it has a small twist at the end to make things interesting.
Overall this film is a very enjoyable peice of entertainment that shouldn't be overlooked because it has subtitles and wasn't made in Hollywood.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Goodbye Lenin, 30 May 2006
This review is from: Good Bye Lenin! [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
If there is a German film of all time, this is probably it - and having recommended it to many non-german speaking friends who loved it, I feel the film has proved its accessibility. It is a wonderful mixture of humour and sensitivity, and Daniel Bruehl's superb, understated acting is truly amazing. The film is set in Berlin as the East German regime falls, and it encapsulates many of the dilemmas and mixed feelings that East Germans may have felt then and since. It is also, however, a film about family, and the ties and lies that bind and separate us.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A German comedy set in the former GDR..no wait, come back..!, 2 Mar. 2006
This review is from: Good Bye Lenin! [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
I know what you're thinking, but if you look hard enough there's plenty of decent german films out there. Like this one. And Run Lola Run. And..they're probably the ones you've heard of right? If you're new to german cinema, don't be put off.
Being a german student, you might think I'm rather biased, but this film really does german cinema justice. For once, a film that refers back to an important part of germany's history, but at the same time, isn't afraid to laugh at itself. I'm talking about all the little references made to coca cola, that capitalist pig of a company, and to the extensive waiting lists for cars. This film makes you see how ludicrous and laughable the situation had become in the GDR, but of course, back then no one was laughing.
But its not all meaningless jokes about the claustrophobic nature of the former soviet bloc. After her heart attack, Alex knows any shock could kill his mother. And what bigger shock, than to wake up from a coma and discover that in fact the country is once again united, coca cola reigns supreme and your daughter has quit college to work at Burger King. At first glance the situation certainly does not look rosy.
Apart from the few odd moments I mentioned earlier, Goodbye Lenin! isn't exactly a laugh out loud comedy. The challenges Alex (played by the brilliant Daniel Brühl) faces to protect his mother from the truth are in many ways humourous, but there are some very moving moments as well. Alex is in every way a devoted son, even if it causes minor tension with other family members. Combine this with his humourous escapades, from trying to find the right brand of pickles to allowing his student nurse girlfriend to wrap him almost entirely in plaster cast, and this makes for a character we the audience can truly identify with.
Wolfgang Becker's excellent film has been nominated for a Golden Globe, and has also managed to scoop an Academy Award, six European Film Awards and nine German Film Awards. If the rest of Europe is able to see what a fantastic film this is, I'm pretty sure you will be too.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a gamble that very definitely paid off!! An unexpected gem!, 18 May 2010
This review is from: Good Bye Lenin! [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
I came accross Goodbye Lenin! rather bizzarely because the music in the film was by the fabulous musician, Yann Tiersen, who most famously soundtracked the french film 'Amelie' in 1997. I have been a fan of Yann's music for years now, and so, knowing the work of Yann Tiersen and knowing that the man never works on bad films, i curiously investigated and thus came accross this gem of a film.
The film ostensibly is about Alex Kerner, his sister Ariane and their mother Christiane, who is a staunch socialist in East Germany. Whilst Alex is on a peaceful march one night in the late 1980s to protest the prescence of the Berlin Wall, Christiane catches him and subsequently has a heart attack which sends her into a coma. Christiane misses on all the major events that took place whilst she is in a coma - including, rather obviously, the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of communism. On the event of her waking up several months later, Alex is told that any shock might kill her, and so starts Alex's mission to maintain and recreate the old East Germany within the confines of the family's little flat, protecting his mother from the shock of discovering the collapse of her beloved socialism and everything she previously knew.
The film is in esscence a comedy and much of the comedy in this film comes from Alex trying to, for example, get his hands on products that were sold pre-capitalism, and thus we see Alex running around, looking for products such as Mocha-Fix Gold(coffee),and pickles which are simply no longer sold - all in the name of maintaining the facade. The 'news reports' which Alex creates with his movie-producing friend are very funny indeed, and there are some laugh-out-loud moments to be had in this film :) The film is however also very European, and specifically very German, and therefore gives some very interesting insights into what Berlin was like after the wall came down. There is a fascinating sequence where Alex, who is narrating the film, is looking for a flat, and explains in the voice-over that after the wall came down, people in the East moved to the west and never returned, leaving huge amounts of property in Berlin simply abandoned, free to be claimed by whoever moved in first! This was something that I had never realised, despite knowing my history.
The cast are stellar in this film - particularly Katrin Sass, a notable actress from East Germany, who plays Christiane, and Daniel Bruhl who plays Alex.
This film is charming, clever, warm and uplifting, and frequently very, very funny :) It should be seen by as many people as possible! And Yann Tiersens soundtrack adds enormously to the film too, adding atmosphere and emotion. xxxxx
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'Goodbye Lenin!', or the long-waited masterpiece, 3 Mar. 2004
This review is from: Good Bye Lenin! [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
We were getting bored! During these recent years of expensive hollywoodian sagas and sequels (Lord of the Rings, Matrix, X-Men, Harry Potter, etc.) we had been waiting, and waiting for something new, something really great. Well, there it is. 'Goodbye Lenin' is a masterpiece if ever I saw one. This films hits you right where it hurts and yet makes you feel good at the same time. It'll make you laugh out one minute and attempt to wipe out your tears discretely the next. This is no over-emotional 'European' film however. It is simply an extremely well written and well directed movie, with brilliant actors, a scenario that beats the Cohen brothers any day, and a general atmosphere that just grabs you and forces you to penetrate this strange claustrophobic world. This DVD is no doubt the best that will come out this year.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing!, 15 Feb. 2006
This review is from: Good Bye Lenin! [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
simply one of the greatest films.very feel good but not in a stupid way.the acting is great and all the characters are perfect. its the kinda film where you wouldn't mind if it went on for ages. plus an absolutely unbeatable soundtrack by Yann Tiersen (did soundtrack for Amelie) just sets the mood for a seriousely enjoyable film....*****!!!!
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Story (Could be deemed to have spoilers), 15 Mar. 2009
By 
DL Productions UK (Merseyside, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Good Bye Lenin! [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
The late 80s was a very significant time for German people on either side of the Iron Curtain, East Germans controlled by Communism, and the West Germans controlled by democracy. The biggest problem for both was the wall, they all hated it, as they couldn't travel between East and West Berlin without some sort of documentary evidence.

There was no Coca Cola, McDonald's or Burger King in East Germany, it was all controlled by SED - and they didn't really like western products in the Eastern Bloc.

Christiane Kerner (Katrin Saß) was part of that movement - she was quite a believer in the movement, but her son Alex (Daniel Brühl) didn't really want a split Germany. He went on the protest marches - and his mother spotted him. In shock, she had a heart attack, and now laid in a coma.

Alex does everything he can to help her, but during the coma, The Berlin Wall is knocked down, and West Germany is now linked with East, to form Germany as we know it today. Burger King is now there, and Alex himself becomes a satellite fitter. To save mum having another episode - he has to keep her world as East Germany.

This is a really good movie, even though he's lying to his mother, it's all really funny and done only to save her from dying. I thought the TV reports was the best thing about the film, the way they filmed them themselves to fool his mother into believing that the SED was still going strong. Both leads were excellent, and his girlfriend in the movie; Lara (Chulpan Khamatova ) but really all the cast was very good.

One thing I didn't like about this transfer is the subtitles, as the frames are often very light, the colour of the subs didn't make it easy on the eye to read what was being said, so I had to rely on good old Latin and words that sounded English when it wasn't easy to read the screen. I am surprised they didn't change the colour of the subtitles, as it's very easy to do on a PC nowadays.

The picture and sound was very good though, with a 5.1 mix that was great when the helicopters came over with the head floating in the air.

The extras are not good, only the trailer is on here, which is a real shame - a few interviews would have been superb. Really there's little they could have added otherwise.

Worth a look, it's a light-hearted movie that made me laugh and feel sad at the same time.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning!, 16 Mar. 2004
By 
K. Patton "Mrs Mooms" (Wiltshire, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Good Bye Lenin! [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
Watch Good-bye Lenin if you want to get a true feeling for what it was really like in the old East Germany.
This film swings always in perfect balance between tragedy and comedy. It is a great history lesson documented on a very personal level, it is a story about a family in crisis and about the things we will do for the people we love, regardless of the political situation we happen to be in.
Don't miss it!
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Good Bye Lenin! [DVD] [2003]
Good Bye Lenin! [DVD] [2003] by Wolfgang Becker (DVD - 2004)
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