Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Goodbye, Lenin

I saw a sweet little comedy over at the college the other night--Goodbye, Lenin, a German film from 2003. It was predictable at times, yet quite funny overall, in a German, rather than an American, way.

The plot is a farce based on the measures taken by a brother and sister to prevent their mother--who dedicated herself to the East German Vaterland and all its trappings after her husband escaped to the West, and who awoke months later from a coma she fell into one month before the Berlin Wall fell--from finding out about the reunification, in order to prevent the excitement from causing her another heart attack. As I mentioned, it's predictable in some places, yet in toto quite enjoyable.

I don't want to get into spoilers, but I will just mention that there is a clear difference of sensibilities between the American and the German one, displayed in this film. Having not long ago argued with a fanatic Christian apologist over at Pharyngula about whether it's ok to lie to a dying child about its prognosis, I suspect the concept: "A brother and a sister remake the Marxist workers' paradise in a small East German apartment to spare their recently-awakened mother from falling into another coma" would make his head explode. Still, for me it was quite funny.

I also suspect from one of the characters in it that the director either is poking fun at some of his film-school colleagues, or else engaging in some self-deprecating humor. The "2001" scene made me laugh out loud.

Go see the film; it's worth a view, and if enough people see it, I'll stop being so coy about spoilers and actually start discussing details.


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