Goodbye Lenin was by far my favorite among the films we took up. It had a comedic aspect even if the situation and setting was a serious matter. It also showed aspects that were relatable even if I don’t come from a broken family and have never experienced living in a socialist environment. The important values I saw in the film were love, sacrifice, sense of family and sense of nationality.
I think that it was already obvious from the start of the movie how the 2 children were really close to their mom. After their dad left, their mom was really all they had and I think they saw the hardships she had to go through to show a tough and stable front for them. So when Alex was in a rally and saw his mom collapse after seeing him with the opposite party, I think that moment really made him feel ashamed. Not because he didn’t believe in what he was fighting for but because he wanted to protect his mom at all costs. After his mom got into a coma, he wanted to be extra careful with protecting her feelings. So he staged everything even the details just to pretend that the Berlin wall had not yet fallen. It sounds crazy and absurd but everyone was in on it. I guess to a certain extent it became too much, the fine line between protecting and manipulating. But I think from Alex’s point of view, he didn’t feel like he had a choice. Despite the comedic aspects (I especially loved it when he Alex would shoot fake films and fake news of his friend to show to his mom), there was a lot of deeper themes presented. One of them was the absence of their father, they were happy as just the three of them but there’s a lot of pain and years of suffering that they try to hide between those smiling faces. Alex’s sister couldn’t even talk to her father after all those years even when he was right in front of her and Alex would have awkward and distant conversations with his father only for the sake of his mom. The father also moved on and had a new family. But despite all of this, Alex and his sister remain good people. I think that’s what I appreciated from them that they didn’t try to create trouble, they didn’t even latch out on their father, they tried to be better people. It’s inspiring to see people who come from troubled pasts and still remain strong and loving through out everything
This charade was going on for too long that of course eventually there would be a few slips. I think deep inside the mom knew or already had a sense of what was going on. She’s fragile and weak but she is far from dumb. I think that what Alex was doing to protect his mom was also what his mom was doing towards him. In the end, I knew that Alex’s mom knew what he did all this time. She didn’t say “hey why did you lie to me”, instead she let him be and I think was even grateful to have a son who cared and loved as much as he did.
For me, this film showed how love will really make us go the extra mile. It makes us realize that we would do anything to protect our family even if it may be wrong in the eyes of others. It shows us that there is no perfect way to love, we love in our own way, in the way we think is best. Moreover, this film emphasizes the life of people and families during this historical time. We usually focus on the events, the killings, the chaos of this time but here we see another side of the story which i find quite refreshing.