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GOOD BYE LENIN!
USA: Sony Pictures Classics
UK: UGC Films UK
Cast: Daniel Bruhl, Katrin Sass, Maria Simon, Chulpan Khamatova, Florian Lukas, Alexander Beyer, Burghart Klau▀ner , Michael Gwisdek, Jurgen Holtz, Christine Schorn, Andreas Thieck, Jurgen Vogel, Stefan Walz
Director: Wolfgang Becker
Language: German (English subtitles)
USA & UK: 121 mins
USA Rated: R for brief language and sexuality
UK Certificate: 15 contains sexualised nudity and strong language
USA Release Date: 27 February 2004 (Limited Release)
UK Release Date: 25 July 2003
Dedicated Socialist mother, Christiane (Sass) falls into a coma just before the fall of the Wall. Waking up several months later, her health is so fragile that her son, Alex (Bruhl) must spare his Mum a potentially fatal shock by pretending that nothing has changed in this funny and heartwarming drama.
The year is 1989 and East and West Germany are still divided. Alex (Daniel Bruhl) and his sister, Ariane (Maria Simon) live in East Germany with their single mother, Christiane (Katrin Sass) who is a staunch Socialist. When Alex's mother witnesses his arrest on a protest march, she suffers a heart attack and falls into a coma for eight months...just enough time for the Berlin wall to come tumbling down along with all of East Germany's ideals.
Eight months later, Christiane wakes up and things have changed. The doctors warn Alex that any shock could bring on a fatal heart attack and he realizes that he must convince his mother that her beloved Communism has not been overthrown but is in fact triumphing over Capitalism. All traces of "the evil West" must be hidden; his sister's Burger King uniform, their neighbour's fashionable cerise pink ski pants, all their recently acquired modern furniture and food. Alex's schemes go from simply transferring gherkins into their old East German jars (retrieved from the local rubbish dump) to filming his own news bulletins describing how "West Germans have realized the error of their Capitalist ways and are flocking to the East for redemption..."
How long can Alex keep up the charade? With Coca-Cola posters and Car Showrooms on their doorstep, surely it's only a matter of time... GOOD BYE LENIN! takes a warm, witty and nostalgic look at how things used to be for the people of East Germany.
GOOD BYE LENIN! won the Blue Angel for Best European Film at this year's Berlin Film Festival and has been nominated for six prizes at this year's Lolas, the German equivalent of the Oscars, which will be awarded in June. The critically acclaimed German box office smash GOOD BYE LENIN! starring Daniel Bruhl and Katrin Sass recently became the most successful German production ever.