Cinema Signal:


Swedish Film Classics
by A. Kwiatkowski


. "Goodbye, Lenin!"

Imagine waking up after a nine month sleep to find that you're living in an essentially different country -- change in government, culture and imported goods. It could be the basis for some drama and maybe, even, some humor. Add strong family attachments, political upheaval and medical problems and you have an idea what to expect from this strong import from Germany.

Director Wolfgang Becker asks us to suppose that a woman, Christiane Kerner (Katrin Sass) is so invested in East Germany and its soviet-based political values that to face its disintegration could be life-threatening. Next, the premise has it that when she gets seriously ill and goes into a months-long coma, her son Alex (Daniel Bruhl), upon her return to consciousness, thinks it's necessary to protect her by masking the changes that are occuring outside her apartment every day.

Commercialism, capitalism and cross border freedom are things she's assumed not be able to cope with. The attempts to keep the shock of losing the system she campaigned for all her life, and the inevitable discoveries awaiting her, is the crux of the comedy.

A bit far-fetched perhaps, but much comedy is. Becker keeps it light and amusing, a little underwhelming, a note of melancholy, but not without its charm deriving, largely, from an attractive cast and an earnest son.

                                      ~~  Jules Brenner  




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Katrin Sass and Daniel Bruhl
Invalid mother and well meaning, protective son


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