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Goodbye Lenin Case Study

vikiwalden | Thursday August 25, 2011

Categories: GCSE, Hot Entries, Films & Case Studies, Goodbye Lenin, Non-Hollywood Films, Film Library

Non-Hollywood Films Case Study | Goodbye Lenin



Goodbye Lenin spans the period from October 1989 to late 1990, from just before the fall of the Berlin Wall to full reunification.  Alex lives with his sister Ariane, her daughter Paula and his mother, Christiane. Their father apparently abandoned the family and fled to the West in 1978.

Christiane is a great supporter of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (the Party which rules East Germany), when walking through the streets of Berlin she sees Alex participating in an anti-government demonstration and the shock causes her to suffer a near-fatal heart attack leading her to fall into a coma. After his frequent visits to the hospital, Alex begins to date his mother’s nurse, Laura.

Soon the Berlin Wall falls and capitalism comes to East Berlin, Alex loses his job but wins a lottery in an East-West relations bid to install satellite dishes. His colleague is Denis, from the West who is an aspiring filmmaker. His sister, Ariane leaves university and begins to work for Burger King. When Christiane awakes eight months later the doctors insist that any shock could kill her, Alex realises the collapse of Soviet East Germany would be the ultimate shock for his mother.

Together Alex, Ariane (reluctantly), Denis and their neighbours attempt to keep up the pretence of East Germany for the sake of his mother’s health. They redecorate the apartment in the drab East German style, feed her new Western food products in old East German jars and Denis and Alex even create East German news broadcasts for her- especially helpful in covering up events that she does see (such as when she sees a large Coca-Cola advertisement being displayed outside the apartment).

Production Context

  • Released: 2003

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