7.7/10
115,288
225 user 153 critic

Good Bye Lenin! (2003)

R | | Drama, Romance | 14 May 2004 (USA)
In 1990, to protect his fragile mother from a fatal shock after a long coma, a young man must keep her from learning that her beloved nation of East Germany as she knew it has disappeared.

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 32 wins & 17 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
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Maria Simon ...
...
...
...
...
Christine Schorn ...
Jürgen Holtz ...
Herr Ganske
Jochen Stern ...
Herr Mehlert
Stefan Walz ...
Sigmund Jähn
Eberhard Kirchberg ...
Hans-Uwe Bauer ...
Dr. Mewes
Nico Ledermueller ...
Alex - 11 Jahre (as Nico Ledermüller)
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Storyline

East Germany, the year 1989: A young man protests against the regime. His mother watches the police arresting him and suffers a heart attack and falls into a coma. Some months later, the GDR does not exist anymore and the mother awakes. Since she has to avoid every excitement, the son tries to set up the GDR again for her in their flat. But the world has changed a lot. Written by Benjamin Stello

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The German Democratic Republic lives on -- in 79 square meters! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for brief language and sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

14 May 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Good Bye Lenin!  »

Box Office

Budget:

€4,800,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$2,450,171 (Germany) (14 February 2003)

Gross:

$4,063,859 (USA) (30 July 2004)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(archive footage)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The scene in the bank was filmed on 11 September 2001. Maria Simon later said that she found it very difficult to distinguish between acting and the unbelievable TV news from the real world. See more »

Goofs

Denis wears a "digital rain"-style T-shirt in 1989 because he has developed the idea himself and has come up with an idea for a film exactly like The Matrix, which he describes in a deleted scene (the letters are not identical to the Matrix scheme.) The joke is that the idea originated in East Germany; compare the claim in one of Denis's fake news shows that the Coca-Cola formula was invented there. It also ties in to the film's main theme of keeping people in a simulated reality. See more »

Quotes

Alexander Kerner: On the evening of October 7, 1989 several hundred people got together for some evening exercise and marched for the right to go for walks without the Berlin Wall getting in their way.
See more »

Crazy Credits

All i's, except the one in Lenin, are lower case. See more »

Connections

References Back to the Future (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

Comptine d'un autre Été : L'après-midi
by Yann Tiersen
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Refreshing
6 January 2005 | by (Glasgow, UK) – See all my reviews

This was a good film, and I think it needed to be made. A way of life disappeared in Europe, perhaps forever, and it seems appropriate that the fall of Communism has thus been documented.

The basic premise of "Goodbye Lenin" is that the young man's mother is in a coma over the months when the Berlin Wall is coming down. She wakes up (oblivious) in united Germany, but as she is so fragile she cannot be allowed to know that everything she held dear has collapsed. What ensues is a comic and moving scenario - her son does his best to pretend that nothing has changed.

Yes, the movie is a little drawn-out. And most of the comedy is lost on non-Germans, or those unaware of the political climate in the region. However, there are clear universal issues to be considered; idealism, hope, family. There is one particular scene which I thought encompassed exactly how the main protagonist feels - he is at a bank trying to change his mother's old East German currency into Deutschmarks but the deadline has passed. He becomes aggravated by the sheep-like behaviour of his peers. After all, this is their culture being crushed by McCapitalism, but their individual vaunting ambition blinds them from doing something about it. Very refreshing to see this on the big screen.

All in all, "Goodbye Lenin" is a nicely-rounded statement of where the European film industry is heading, and it will appeal to most independent-minded people on both an artistic and political level. 8/10.


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