Among the European films that I have watched for this course, Wolfgang Becker’s film entitled, Goodbye, Lenin! is the one that I appreciated watching the most. It was a tragicomedy film, I will explain it later what makes a combination of the two. Though, I found the plot of the movie relatable because there were scenes in the movie that were similar to what I have already experienced.
It was a film that had a historical context, which was the fall of the Berlin Wall in Germany. Though, it did not focus that much on that event itself, however, it was the basis of how the Kerner family’s life was affected because of division caused by the wall and the eventual fall of it. The father ended up having an affair with another woman in West Germany, which left Christiane, his wife to remain behind and take of their children named Ariane and Alex all by herself. Aside from family, she devoted her life to Socialism perhaps to express her vengeance for her husband’s betrayal and abandonment. At this point, I could somehow resemble how difficult it was to be a single mother since my mom had to go through the same thing.
As the film progressed, Christiane ends up having a heart attack after witnessing his son, Alex attending a march that was for an anti-Berlin Wall demonstration. Since medics were not able to do assist her and do CPR immediately, Christiane ended up in a coma. That is why, whatever transpired during her coma such as the revolution she absolutely had no idea of. I could relate to Alex how he had to take care of his mom while she was bedridden and make it to the point to pass by her to update her about his day. This was the tragic part of the movie but eventually became a hopeful segment since the mom woke up from the coma. I had a similar experience with my mother when she had several operations within the past two years but she was only bedridden for some days. I understood the stress of trying to make sure that whatever food she requests that she wants to eat, I bought it as soon as possible. It shows how the two siblings managed to go on with their lives despite the unfortunate circumstances.
Apart from this, I admire Alex’ perseverance in trying to make his mom believe that they remained in the Socialist period. He went through extreme measures just to hide it from his mom such as creating their our tv news reports, which actually makes these scenes comedic since none of it were true. Another example is how he kept transferring products of other brands to the containers that his Mom knows that were socialist products. All of his actions just shows how much he really wanted to his mom to get better despite him constantly lying about the truth of their current situation.
Generally, I found authenticity in the film since it shows how life can be so unpredictable and somewhat unfair. There was a scene when the mom remembered where she hid her money. However, when Alex and Ariane wanted to get it exchanged, the bank informed them that they were already two days late and they just simply missed their chance. This specific scene got me to reflect on having expectations about people and life. There will be times when they can disappoint us and even hurt us, however, in the end of it all life goes on.