Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Good Bye Lenin! / Гудбай Ленин

Good Bye, Lenin!is a 2003 German tragicomedy film, released internationally in 2003. Directed by Wolfgang Becker, the cast includes Daniel Brühl, Katrin Sass, Chulpan Khamatova, and Maria Simon. Most of the scenes were shot at the Karl-Marx-Allee in Berlin and around Plattenbauten near Alexanderplatz.

Directed by Wolfgang Becker
Produced by Stefan Arndt
Written by Wolfgang Becker
Bernd Lichtenberg
Starring Daniel Brühl
Katrin Sass
Chulpan Khamatova
Maria Simon
Alexander Beyer
Music by Yann Tiersen
Claire Pichet
Cinematography Martin Kukula
Editing by Peter R. Adam
Distributed by Sony Pictures Classics
Release date(s) February 27, 2004
Running time 121 min
Country Germany

In a prologue, Alex Kerner (Daniel Brühl) recalls as a child (in 1978) how proud he was along with his countrymen when the first German to enter space, Sigmund Jähn, came from the East.

The rest of the film is set in East Berlin, spanning from October 1989 to just after German unification a year later. Alex lives with his sister, Ariane (Maria Simon), his mother, Christiane (Katrin Sass), and Ariane's infant daughter, Paula. His father fled to the West in 1978, apparently abandoning the family. In his absence, Christiane has become an ardent idealist and supporter of the ruling Socialist Unity Party of Germany (the Party). When she sees Alex being arrested in an anti-government demonstration, she suffers a near-fatal heart attack and falls into a coma. The police ignore Alexander's plea to assist his mother, rather releasing him later that evening to go and see her.

Shortly afterward, the Berlin Wall falls. In that time, capitalism comes to East Berlin, and Alex loses his job before "winning" a new position in a ballot to install satellite dishes with West Berlin resident Dennis (an aspiring filmmaker) while Ariane leaves university to work at a Burger King drive-thru. After eight months, Christiane awakes, but is severely weakened both physically and mentally. Her doctor asserts that any shock might cause another, possibly fatal, heart attack. Alex realizes that the discovery of recent events would be too much for her to bear, and so sets out to maintain the illusion that things are as before in the German Democratic Republic. To this end, he and Ariane revert from the gaudy decor of the west to the previous decor to their bed-ridden mother's bedroom in the family apartment, dress in their old clothes, and feed Christiane new Western produce from old-labeled jars. Their deception is successful, albeit increasingly complicated and elaborate. Christiane occasionally witnesses strange occurrences, such as a gigantic Coca-Cola advertisement banner unfurling on a building outside the apartment. With Dennis, Alex edits old tapes of East German news broadcasts and creates fake reports on TV (played from a video machine hidden in an adjacent room) to explain these odd events. Since the old news shows were fairly predictable, and Christiane's memory is vague, she is initially fooled.>>>

BAFTA Awards

* Best Film not in the English Language (nominated – lost to In This World)

European Film Awards

* Best Actor (Brühl, won)
* Best Actress (Sass, nominated – lost to Charlotte Rampling, Swimming Pool)
* Best Director (Becker, nominated – lost to Lars von Trier, Dogville)
* Best Film (won)
* Best Screenwriter (Lichtenberg, won)

German Film Awards

* Outstanding Actor (Brühl, won)
* Outstanding Actress (Sass, nominated – lost to Hannelore Elsner, Mein letzter Film)
* Outstanding Direction (Becker, won)
* Outstanding Editing (Adam, won)
* Outstanding Film (won)
* Outstanding Music (Tiersen, won)
* Outstanding Production Design (Holler, won)
* Outstanding Supporting Actor (Lukas, won)
* Outstanding Supporting Actress (Simon, nominated – lost to Corinna Harfouch, Bibi Blocksberg)

Golden Globe Awards

* Best Foreign Language Film (nominated – lost to Osama)

Goya Awards

* Best European Film (Becker, won)

London Film Critics Circle

* Best Foreign Language Film (won)

HOME PAGE (Germany)

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