Good Bye, Lenin (2003) 



Director:  Wolfgang Becker.

Starring:  Daniel Brhl (Alex Kerner, the son), Katrin Sa (Mutter/Christiane Kerner), Chulpan Khamatova (Lara, Alexs girlfriend), Maria Simon (Ariane Kerner, daughter), Florian Lukas (Denis), Alexander Beyer (Rainer, Arianes boyfriend), Burghart Klauner (Alex' father), Michael Gwisdek (Klapprath), Christine Schorn (Frau Schfer), Jrgen Holtz (Herr Ganske, neighbor), Jochen Stern (Herr Mehlert), Stefan Walz (Sigmund Jhn, cosmonaut), Eberhard Kirchberg (Dr. Wagner), Hans-Uwe Bauer (Dr. Mewes), Nico Ledermueller (Alex at 11 years old).

after unification of the two Germanys, a son tries to restore East German life so his mother recently out of a coma won't have a relapse



Good movie.  It is the summer of 1978 and the Kerner family are at their weekend cabin.  The spaceshjp SOJUS 31 is about to take off with Sigmund Jhn as one of the international crew.  He was the first East German in space. 

Suddenly the East German show up at their apartment.  They ask Alex's mother about her husband.  It appears that the husband ran away to West Germany or beyond with his "enemy of the state" girlfriend.  Alex's mother falls into a deep depression, not talking to anyone including her children.  She goes away for 8 weeks (probably to a hospital) and when she returns to the apartment she is out of her depression. 

Alex's mother now becomes a super-patriot in East Germany and gets heavily involved in all kinds of social causes to help improve the nation.  She received a gold award that is given to exceptional citizens of East Germany. 

It is now October 1989.  Alex is grown up.  He works as a TV repairman.   His sister Ariane has already been married and divorced and has a baby daughter, Paula.  Things are started to change in the Soviet Union and East Germany.  Gorbachev is the new head of Russia and he works for conciliation between East and West.  This creates a more lax attitude in East Germany and Alex decides to join a demonstration protesting for the right to take a walk at night in East Berlin.  The East Germans call out the police force and they start cracking heads of the demonstrators and arresting them.  Alex wrestles with two policemen trying to arrest him.  His mother by accident just happened to be on her way to an award ceremony and she caught sight of Alex being arrested.  Alex sees his mother go down on the street, but the police won't let him go.  He ends up in jail.

The police release Alex because it turns out that his mother had a heart attack and went into a coma.  She is in this coma for eight months.  In that time a number of very important political changes occurred.  Erich Honecker, secretary general of the party and chairman of the state council of the German Democratic Republic resigned "for reasons of health."  The Berlin Wall comes down.  A new spirit of freedom reigns.  Alex and Ariane modernize/westernize their apartment.  Alex visits West Germany for the first time.  And East and West Germany are re-unified.  Ariane has a new boyfriend, Rainer, and becomes pregnant. 


Patrick Louis Cooney, Ph. D.



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