Skip to main content
The Independent Critic

Daniel Bruhl, Katrin Sab
Wolfgang Becker
Rated R
121 Mins.
Sony Classics
 "Good Bye Lenin!"  

"Goodbye, Lenin!" is an unexpectedly beautiful foreign film written and directed by Wolfgang Becker that deals with East Germany shortly before the Berlin Wall came down. A mother has a heart attack before the Wall comes down, comes out of her coma after the Wall is down and her family, especially her son, is instructed to not let her have any more excitement as it would surely lead to a fatal heart attack. Knowing of his mother's great love and loyalty to East Germany, the son (beautifully played by Daniel Bruhl) decides that he must do whatever it takes to make sure his mother does not find out that Germany has become unified. What follows is a film of great history, great poetry and great power. Several of the scenes in the film continue to be present in my mind long after I have viewed the film. One scene in which mother, played by Katrin Sab, first goes outside following her return to consciousness is one of the most visually stunning scenes I have witnessed on film and Sab...with little more than facial expression offers one of those powerful cinematic moments that just leaves you breathless.

Of course, there is a certain suspension of belief here as the con being perpetrated by the son becomes more and more and more elaborate...yet, the characters are so well developed and interesting that I found myself willing to suspend belief.

I express mild disappointment in the tone of the DVD Jacket and ads that I've seen for this is played to be more comedic than the film really is. The film, in fact, is quite touching and dramatic in nature.

This film is powerful, poignant and beautiful to behold.

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic