Archive of films Good Bye, Lenin! / Good Bye, Lenin!

2003, 118 min

Section: Horizons - Award-Winning Films
Year: 2003

East Germany, just a few days remain to the fall of the Berlin Wall. Alex’s mother has had a heart attack and is in a coma. When she wakes up, Alex is warned by the doctors that any sudden shock could kill her. So he decides to hide from her the fact that her beloved socialist Germany is not what it used to be. IFF Berlin 2003 - Blue Angel Award.


October 1989, East Germany, just a few days remain before the fall of the Berlin Wall, but for Alex and his sister life has already changed. Their mother has had a heart attack and is in a coma. When she wakes up eight months later, to Alex’s enormous joy and relief, socialist Germany isn’t what it used to be. Alex is warned by the doctors that any sudden shock or emotional disturbance could be fatal for his mother’s weak heart, so he decides to hide from her the fact that capitalism reigns in her beloved East Germany. He insists that everyone pretends that nothing has changed, but in this way Alex just gets into ever more absurd situations. This tragicomic film, reminiscent of Jan Hřebejk’s Cosy Dens, excellently evokes the atmosphere of the former GDR. Casting young Daniel Brühl into the role of Alex contributed greatly to the warmth and humanity that emanates from the movie. At this year’s Berlinale the film was screened in the competition and was awarded the Blue Angel for Best European Film.

About the director

Wolfgang Becker (b. 1954, Germany) first studied German and American history and literature at the Freie Universität Berlin, then attended the German Film and Television Academy. He first drew attention with his graduation film Schmetterlinge (1987), an adaptation of a short story by British writer Ian McEwan, awarded a Golden Leopard at the 1988 Locarno film festival. He has worked in television on, among other things, an episode of Tatort entitled Blutwurstwalzer (1991); the TV movie Kinderspiele (1992) later made it to theatres. His first film for X Filme Creative Pool, a production company he cofounded, was Das Leben ist eine Baustelle (1997). The film was a huge success. Other films: Celibidache (1992, documentary) and Good Bye, Lenin! (2003). 


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About the film

Color, 35 mm

Section: Horizons - Award-Winning Films
Director: Wolfgang Becker
Screenplay: Bernd Lichtenberg
Dir. of Photography: Martin Kukula
Music: Yann Tiersen
Editor: Peter R. Adam
Producer: Stefan Arndt
Production: X Filme Creative Pool, koprodukce / co-production: WDR, Arte
Cast: Daniel Brühl, Katrin Sass, Chulpan Khamatova, Maria Simon, Florian Lukas, Alexander Beyer, Burghart Klaussner, Michael Gwisdek
Contact: Hollywood Classic Entertainment


Stefanie Zeitler


Petr Plewka


Thorsten Schaumann


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