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Good Bye Lenin! [DVD] [2002]

4.6 out of 5 stars 158 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Daniel Bruhl, Katrin Sass, Chulpan Khamatova, Alexander Beyer
  • Directors: Wolfgang Becker
  • Writers: Wolfgang Becker
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: German
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 3 Sept. 2007
  • Run Time: 116 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (158 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000VRY81O
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 882 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
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Product description

Product Description

The year is 1989 and East and West Germany are still divided. Alex (Daniel Bruhl) and his sister Ariane (Maria Simon) live in East Germany with their single mother, Christiane (Katrin Sass) who is a staunch Socialist. When Alex’s mother witnesses his arrest on a protest march, she suffers a heart attack and falls into a coma for eight months, just enough time for the Berlin Wall to come tumbling down, along with all of East Germany’s ideals. Eight months later, Christiane wakes up and things have changed. The doctors warn Alex that any shock could bring on a fatal heart attack. He then realizes he must convince his mother that her beloved Communism has not been overthrown but is in fact triumphing over Capitalism. Alex then sets out to recreate every detail of the old East inside the four walls of their tiny council flat … what begins as a little white lie soon turns into a major deception with hilarious consequences!

From Amazon.co.uk

Contemporary comedies rarely stretch themselves beyond a bickering romantic couple or a bickering couple and a bucket of bodily fluids, which makes the ambition and intelligence of Goodbye, Lenin! not simply entertaining but downright refreshing. The movie starts in East Germany before the fall of communism; our hero, Alex (Daniel Bruhl), describes how his mother (Katrin Sass), a true believer in the communist cause, has a heart attack when she sees him being clubbed by police at a protest. She falls into a coma for eight months--during which the Berlin Wall comes down. When she awakens, her fragile health must avoid any shocks, so Alex creates an illusive reality around his bedridden mother to convince her that communism is still alive. Goodbye, Lenin! delicately balances wry satire with its rich investment in the lives of Alex, his mother, and other characters around them.

On the DVD: Though the DVD extras for Goodbye Lenin! include a detailed featurette on the digital effects used in the movie (particularly intriguing because they had to be completely invisible--many viewers won't realize there were digital effects until they see this featurette) and a convivial cast commentary (in German with English subtitles) with Daniel Bruhl, Katrin Sass, and Alexander Beyer, the star of the DVD is director Wolfgang Becker himself. Not only is his commentary rich with historical information and thoughtful notes about the making of the movie, for the deleted scenes (including two lovely scenes that expand on the relationship between Alex and his girlfriend Lara) he and Tom Tykwer (director of Run Lola Run and part of the X Filme collective that produced Goodbye Lenin!) have an insightful conversation about the editing process, storytelling, and the essence of watching a movie. Utterly fascinating, and invaluable to any aspiring filmmaker. --Bret Fetzer --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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I came across the super comedy a number of years ago when I was staying in Germany. I have a number of friends from Rostock Eastern Germany and as a lecturer in International Relations in the USA, have talked endlessly about life in the former Warsaw Pact countries with Czech, Polish and German friends. This film looks at the collapse of the GDR from one family's perspective in a way that mirrors what I was told happened by my friends.

The plot is simple but intriguing. It begins in the closing days of the GDR. The narrative is given by Alexander (Daniel Bruhl), who is an unhappy young man living in a claustrophobic system, which he feels is oppressing him. He lives with his mother, a devout communist since her husband fled to the West and sister in a small communist flat in East Berlin. Alexander is involved in a demonstration and gets arrested in front of his mother. The shock of his arrest brings on a heart attack which leaves her in a comma for a number of months. Whilst the mother is in the comma the GDR collapses, the wall comes down, western goods and eventually money flood into the East, the sister finds a West German boyfriend, the family flat gets a western make over and many peoples lives change. When the mother awakens, the doctors are afraid a shock may kill her, so being a devout communist and fearing finding out there is no GDR any more, Alexander decides to keep what has happened secret from his mother, with hysterical consequences.

Whilst the film is humorous it is also quite a sad and reflective film. It shows that not everything changed for the best and all things western had their personal and societal costs. The tension between East and West Germans, which I felt when I lived in Wurzburg in 1990 and Luneburg in 1992, comes across brilliantly.
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Very sweet film, humorous & poignant.
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Highly Entertaining
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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.
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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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Ops! It's in German
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Great film, very witty and clever, well acted. Buy it
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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.
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