Good Bye, Lenin! by Wolfgang Becker
A story where in familial love trumps all. A story where in you realize you must do anything for you loved ones and protect them from the harsh realities of life no matter how mundane it may be to the viewer. This movie made me laugh and was enjoyable from start to end.
Unlike the past few movies that we watched this was not as heavy in plot as the others. It was not confusing, the characters were dynamic and their relationships were fun to watch as they interacted and grew together. At the beginning learning that this was a story about a Socialist East German mother who falls into a coma after seeing her son rallying against the Socialist Party and waking up after the fall of the Berlin Wall was quite funny. Random, quite quirky but as I watched the film, I could see it was more than just Alex trying to avoid his mother from learning the truth about the German Unification but did it in a place of love as the doctor said that if she knew about the present situation, her illness may worsen.
In a situation of life and death, I would have done what Alex had done. To just keep my mother at a mindset that makes her comfortable and happy. The ways in which he tried to protect her were both hilarious and really had no bounds. From creating his own news broadcasts to asking his long time idol astronaut (which may actually just be a look-a-like) to become the new leader of East Germany. Inter cut with this story of Alex and his mother, we must never forget that this was actually history. The harsh realities of police brutality and heavy censorship during these times for Germany before its unification and in the fall of the Berlin Wall, an integration of a more capitalistic and democratic society. We realize that change is difficult, it may not be for everyone but it may not always be a bad thing. The movie subtly shows these changes in history through scenes such as when Alex and his sister Ariane must exchange their old money to the new currency but the bank denied this request. From the removal of his mother’s favorite kind of pickles as this has now been changed with a new brand from another country as Germany has now allowed the import from other markets
All this change would have been difficult for the mother but in the movie, all it took was time. Alex’s girlfriend finally told her without Alex’s knowledge but she did not have a heart attack right away, she was even able to see Alex’s final news broadcast with a smile on her face realizing that this was done by Alex just to protect her from these realities never mentioning to her son that she knew. I would like to believe she died happy, able to have lived a full life doing what she believed in and surrounded by those that she loved.