Goodbye Lenin

In Wolfgang Becker’s Goodbye Lenin we get to be immersed to the culture of East Berlin back then. It’s an interesting film to watch, especially in opening our eyes for how the east Germans lived back then through the facade that Alex was making for his mother. It is also an noteworthy point that this was the most accessible film that we watch so far in class. It was very easy watch and very akin to the movies that we watch in the current day and age. But, even if it was accessible it still had an out there plot that can still be compared to other Europeans filmmakers. It was an interesting to watch a film that basically showcases the culture of a country back the, but adding cinematic qualities to keep it both educational and entertaining.

The first thing that really struck me in the film was the style, which was more similar to the movies we watched that come from Hollywood. Unlike the previous films we watched, which can be considered difficult films to watch, this film was able to convey the story without alienating the audience. It just shows how diverse the cinema is in Europe because there is not distinct style in their filmmaking.

One of the strong points in the film was the story itself. Even though we can deem the film as accessible, the plot is still very out there but successfully executed through the storytelling decisions of the filmmakers. The film was able to translate, what could have been a gimmicky plot, into a film with so much heart, specifically centered on family. The occurrences in the film showed how to depict a quirky family dynamics, with still inserting some historical context of the country they live in. Although the film was able to explain everything, even the context of what was happening in the country during that time, I felt that the inside jokes, pertaining to the culture back then, would have had a greater impact to me if I fully new the lives of the people in East Berlin back then.

Another strength of the film was the charismatic cast of characters that really brought the film to light. The actors were able to convey the quirky sensibilities of their respective characters without making them caricatures. The film had may comedic moments that needed very game actors to fully realize the humor in the scenes. The family dynamic also showed the chemistry of the actors with one another  because they were able to successfully embody being a family, both the fun and the more serious parts.

Lastly, what I like most of the film is that it is very educational without being in your face about the things they want to convey. The film really showed so many things that captured how the people in East Germany lived back then. I also appreciated that I learned so many thing about their culture but I didn’t feel like it was a lecture. They were really able to do it by making the film entertaining, through comedy and its plot structure.

Enrico R. Barruela COM 155.5

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