Winner of six prestigious European Film Awards, including Best Picture and 2004 Golden Globe(r) nominee for Best Foreign Language Film, this coming-of-age adventure blends the fall of Communism with the salient emotions of a family's love. "Destined to become one of Germany's biggest international hits," (BBC Films), GOOD BYE, LENIN! is a beautiful introduction to a whole new, free world. In 1989, Christiane Kerner has lost her husband and is completely devoted to the Socialist East German state. A heart attack leaves her in a coma, and when she awakens eight months later, the Berlin Wall has fallen and it's a whole new world. To protect her from the shock, her son Alex hatches a plan to keep her in the dark. It's easy... all he has to do is turn back the handle of time.
Though the DVD extras for Good Bye, Lenin!
include a detailed featurette on the digital effects used in the movie (particularly intriguing because they had to be completely invisible--many viewers won't realize there were digital effects until they see this featurette) and a convivial cast commentary with Daniel Bruhl, Katrin Sass, and Alexander Beyer, the star of the DVD is director Wolfgang Becker himself. Not only is his commentary rich with historical information and thoughtful notes about the making of the movie (like the cast commentary, it's in German with English subtitles), for the deleted scenes (including two lovely scenes that expand on the relationship between Alex and his girlfriend Lara) he and Tom Tykwer (director of Run Lola Run
and part of the X Filme collective that produced Good Bye, Lenin!
) have an insightful conversation about the editing process, storytelling, and the essence of watching a movie. Utterly fascinating, and invaluable to any aspiring filmmaker. --Bret Fetzer