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Customer Review

VINE VOICEon 6 April 2007
Good Bye Lenin! is a German-made film about the collapse of the Berlin Wall and reunification as seen through the eyes of a young man called Alex. The real focus of the film, however, is Alex's mother Christiane (wonderfully played by Katrin Sass) who falls into a coma a few days prior to the momentous events of 1989. Against all odds, she wakes from her slumber after 8 months, blissfully unaware of the upheaval taking place.

On one level, GBL! is an important historical film, reminding viewers of a time, not so long ago, when the great divide between Communism and Capitalism - in Europe, at least - was a physical reality; literally, a Wall that separated free enterprise and excess in the West from strict moral code and simple living in the East. As a tireless, yet good-humoured campaigner for the socialist cause, Christiane represented the well-intentioned ideals of East Germany, but with her entire raison d'être destroyed, Alex takes it upon himself to keep his bed-ridden mother in the dark about the decline of Communism and succeeds in creating an alternate reality for her, in which the future she worked so hard for appears to be unfolding before her very eyes...

On a second, more subtle level, then, GBL! is a powerful and touching portrayal of a son's complete and utter devotion to his mother and the things she believed in. That Alex may be deluding himself is not suggested until towards the end, when Christiane makes a revelation of her own...

A tad long at 120-odd minutes, this is nevertheless an extremely clever, well thought-out, well put-together film that entertains and engages throughout. I would tend to agree with a previous reviewer's comments that while there are few full-on, laugh-out-loud moments in this film, it is very funny. For this reason alone, it's worth watching - after all, to the majority of English viewers "German comedy" is all but a contradiction in terms.


Matt Pucci
8 people found this helpful
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Product Details

4.6 out of 5 stars