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Good Bye, Lenin! (Special Edition)

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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.

Additional Features

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


Special Features

  • In German with English subtitles
  • 10 deleted scenes with optional director commentary
  • Lenin Learns to Fly visual-effects featurette
  • Mini making-of featurette
  • Uncut "Aktuelle Kamera" broadcasts

Product Details

  • Actors: Kathrin Sass, Maria Simon, Chulpan Khamatova, Florian Lukas, Daniel Bruhl
  • Directors: Wolfgang Becker
  • Producers: Stefan Arndt
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: German (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: August 10, 2004
  • Run Time: 121 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (182 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000274THQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,543 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Good Bye, Lenin! (Special Edition)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

81 of 85 people found the following review helpful By Nearly Nubile on September 16, 2004
Format: DVD
Goodbye Lenin takes a sliver of recent history (reunification of Germany) and weaves it into a tender, bittersweet tale of farce and romance. Presenting a world that no longer exists is hard enough, but making it convincing to the viewer with gentle hints of humour requires a stroke of genius.

We may not know of the precise nostalgia felt by East Germans when the products they grew up with were replaced by spiffy modern imports from adjoining nations. But these moments are so beautifully handled, and the son's alternative approaches so cutely frantic, that we cannot avoid relating to similar emotions from our own contexts.

The film goes on for a bit in the middle with goofy antics and knowing jokes, but it is richly textured in its nods towards other directors like Fellini and Kubrick.

Don't let subtitles put you off from seeing this heart-breaking yet oddly comforting film. One of the best movies I've seen in 2004!
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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Melanie on March 19, 2004
I am originally from East Germany. I lived there in 1989. I saw the demonstrations happen in my hometown (not Berlin), I felt the tension, but also the excitement and insecurity of the days following the fall of the wall.
I watched the movie last year in Germany, watched in in December again when it was released on DVD in Germany and am planning to show it to my students in a politics class. That is how much I love this movie. I love it because he shows something very simple ... the things a person wants to go through for the love of his mother. But also because it quite adequately portrays the time of 1989 and 1990. It shows how excited people became if they already got their car after waiting "only 3 years" when it was normal to wait 10+ years. It shows also how proud East Germans were about some of their achievements, how attached they were to the system and I know how hard it was and still is for some to deal with the demise of the GDR. It gives a bit of an insight in the problems and ways of thinking from that time.
The movie is fascinating on many levels and entertaining and humorous on so many others. Katrin Sass, an actress from East Germany, and Daniel Bruehl who plays her son, make a great cast for the movie. Katrin Sass, because she can portray the die-heart communist with such credibility, not overdone nor distorted, and Daniel Bruehl because he plays this young man so well. The movie comes with high recommendation from me.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Michael Valdivielso on August 27, 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Good Bye, Lenin! is a movie set in East Germany that starts in the late 70s. We watch a family, in the opening credits, in which the father has escaped to the West, leaving behind his wife, and two kids. Alex, the son, is the character who tells the story and we watch as the mother, broken and in pain from her husband dumping them, embraces socialism to the point where she is totally loyal to its ideals.

In 1989 she has a heart attack, falls into a coma, and misses the most important eight months in world history. The fall of the Berlin wall, the collapse of communism, frankly everything she believes in dies a swift, total death. Then she comes out of the coma and her son is warned by the doctor that ANY shock might bring another heart attack. Any shock. So her son has to make her think that NOTHING has changed.

The film is one of the funniest Non-English flicks I have EVER seen. The son has to find food she likes (that no longer exists), has to set up the TV with a VCR so she only watches shows from before the collapse and even has to organize her birthday with people who know that they have to pretend that history hasn't passed her by. Yet it has a serious underlining message about the importance of family that is touching (and sad at the same time) and I think a slight poke at materialism. Coca-Cola must have paid millions to get its name in so many scenes!

But Alex is not the only one making up lies. The mother has woven some lies of her own which end up coming out. The truth about their father.

The extras are great and this is a movie you should get at all cost, used or new.
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62 of 70 people found the following review helpful By Nicholas Carroll on October 9, 2004
Format: DVD
Finally, a film that satisfied a lifelong curiosity I've had for people my age who lived on the other side of the Iron Curtain. Since elementary school, I always wondered what it was like for kids like me who were unfortunate to be born in the Soviet Union or East Germany, two of the harshest communist states. This curiosity led to my checking out books on the topic and reading about it, and being called a "commie" by my fellow Americans, as if curiosity about someone our government tells us is "our enemy" makes me one of them!

I was thrilled when I read a movie like this had come out, showing life in the last days of East Germany and the euphoria of a new world opening up for people who pretty much lived in a prison all their lives. Of course, the initial rush of euphoria in newfound freedom left a harsh wake up call as differences in work ethics, standards of living, and cultural references became more and more apparent after reunification of the two Germanys. In personal terms, think of what it would be like if separated twins discovered each other late in life...one a Wall Street stockbroker, the other a trailer park living low wage slave. A clash in more ways than one, right?

The performances of Daniel Bruhl as the idealistic son and of Katrin Sass as the mother who always believed in Marxism, both performances really stand out and are Oscar-worthy. The lengths the son goes to, to prevent his mother from falling into another coma over the shock of the demise of East Germany provides much of the humor. My favorite scene is when the mother, tired of being cooped up in the bedroom, decides to go for a walk outside and its like walking through Wonderland for her.
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