The Life Unwired with Ben Combee (unwiredben) wrote,
The Life Unwired with Ben Combee

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Goodbye, Lenin

I just got back from the mid-afternoon screening of "Goodbye, Lenin", a very poignant and funny film about the love a son has for his mother, and how East Germany woke up from communism in the early 1990s. The key plot point of the film is when the mother, an idealistic member of the Communist Party, wakes up from a eight-month coma, having missed the fall of the Berlin Wall and the opening of the border between East and West Germany. The son sets up this elaborate ruse to prevent her from hearing the news, fearful that it would cause a fatal heart attack. Comedy ensues, as the effort needed to hide away the changing world increases, and there's a bit of effective family drama and romance too.

What I liked best about the film was its sentimentality. Life in Communist East Germany wasn't horrible; it was slower-paced, more bureaucratic, less selection, longer lines, but people had education, health care, and there was a decency about the society. People were excited about the change and reunification with their Western brothers and sisters, but there also was a sense that they were giving up a way of life that was bearable, and that some loved and wanted to perfect.
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