Given the first few films that we watched in this course, Good Bye, Lenin! was the movie that I enjoyed watching the most because it was so much easier to follow and it was more relatable. Having studied the context of history when the film was set, the events were already familiar with how the situation was in Germany at that time and the film was able to incorporate different elements, being a tragicomedy film, to make it even more interesting to watch.
Just by watching the opening sequence, I could already tell that the movie will be about family as the montage of Alex’s family was shown that set the mood and expectations of the viewers. It provided the basic information needed to give a background of the story, which was something that was lacking in the previous films that we watched in the course. After seeing Alex being arrested during a no violence protest, Christiane, Alex’s mother, collapses and falls into a coma. She slept through the different events that happened in Germany such as the fall of the Berlin wall and the transition to a capitalist society. Being an activist herself, she wakes up still fatally ill as any form of excitement or heightened emotions can be dangerous for her. Alex goes as far as watching old news to hide what was actually happening and it was touching for me to see the extents that Alex was willing to go to just to keep her mother safe. Despite trying hard to hide the truth, Christiane finds out about the truth and even reveals the truth about their father.
The film revolves around Alex’s love for her mother, making sure that from her mother’s perspective, nothing has changed. The plot itself was very interesting for me as it shows the situation in Germany from the perspective of Alex’s family given their mother’s situation. It speaks of the untold stories that might happen in times of crisis that is not usually tackled in films since most give importance to the events themselves. It also showcases a part of their culture of still giving importance to family given everything that was happening in their country. The film tackles a lot of aspects and also showcases the development and the struggles that the characters went through. For instance, Ariane, Alex’s sister, always longed to see her father, who abandoned them. Her conflict is somehow resolved as Christiane reveals the truth about the father, which was ironic as she reveals the truth after she figures out what was actually happening in Germany.
What I also liked about the film was the comedic aspect that was incorporated—from Alex’s search for the pickle jars and the fake telecasts made by Alex’s friend. These details also reflect the reality of capitalism in Germany and how even Alex was longing for things to go back to how they were before. Overall, the film was very enjoyable and touching, unlike the confusion and frustration that the previous films made viewers feel.