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Friday, 18 March 2022

Good Bye Lenin at Wahnfried

Montagu Events - Good Bye Lenin at Wahnfried
Wahnfried McGregor
On Friday 18th at 5pm we have the multi-award winning tragicomedy film GOOD BYE LENIN (2h) in German with English subtitles.

Two traumatic events affect the life of East Berliner, Christiane Kerner. First, in 1978, her husband, Robert, runs off to freedom and another woman in the west, leaving her to take care of their two adolescent children, Ariane and Alex, by herself. Always a good Socialist, Christiane devotes her life to the cause as a symbol of anger toward her husband. And second, in 1989, she sees a now grown Alex marching in an anti-Berlin Wall demonstration and being hauled off by police. As a result, she suffers a heart attack and goes into a coma. While Christiane is in her coma, Germany drastically changes with the Wall coming down and the imminent official reunification of East and West into one. The Kerner's personal life also changes with all aspects of the new found capitalist world infiltrating their home. When Christiane emerges from her coma eight months later, her health situation is still tenuous. Any shock she experiences could possibly lead to another heart attack and certain death. To protect his mother, Alex decides not to tell her of the new Germany in which they live. He feels he can better protect her at home, where he can control to what she is exposed. Although most around him don't support the idea - including Ariane and Lara (Alex's Russian immigrant girlfriend who is also Christiane's nurse) - they go along with the extreme measures Alex goes to to recreate East Germany in their home. How long can they keep up the ruse?

‘’ The situations are dramatic and funny at the same time. This movie is simply wonderful! The screenplay uses drama, comedy, history and politics, supported by a fantastic direction and an outstanding cast, to show the situation of a generation who fought for and believed in the socialism, in their leaders and in the party, and suddenly sees the end of their dreams, and the next generation, avid for consumption. One of the most important point of 'Good Bye Lenin!' is the neutrality of the director, never defending or criticizing the socialism or the capitalism. Therefore, there is no manipulation along the story, trying to defend a system against the other. The dichotomy between the former and the new economic system is presented by the character Ariane, 'who left the university to sell hamburgers', as per the definition of Alex. Another great attraction of this film are the footages of that period of our contemporary history. My vote is ten out of ten.’’ IMDb reviewer

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