Essay on East Germany in Wolfgang Becker Film «Goodbye Lenin!»

2072 Words Jun 13th, 2010 9 Pages
East Germany in Wolfgang Becker film «Goodbye Lenin!»:
Does the movie paint a positive or negative picture of life in communist East Germany?

East Germany, its demise relayed through the mass media of recent history, has in popular consciousness been posited as negative, a corrupt bulwark of the last dying days of Communism in Eastern Europe, barren and silent. The other Germany to its West, it’s citizens free, was striding confidently ahead into the millennium. Recent cinema has sought to examine re-unification, the Wolfgang Becker film «Goodbye Lenin!» (2003), a recent example of such an investigation into the past through cinema. In this essay I will look at the film and the narrative techniques it uses, probing whether it portrays
…show more content…
Later, Alex makes his way through the streets of Berlin joining a mass protest against the government. There is no tolerance for this and Alex is beaten and arrested amidst a forceful assault on the protestors by the state police. It is here where Alex's mother, such a zealous supporter of the state, draped conspicuously in a significant deep red, is patronized by the police and ordered to go home. She witnesses the suppression of her son, and falls down into a coma as all around her chaos rages. The disintegration of the state parallels her own physical meltdown, the awareness of the brutality discussed above triggering her relapse.

Other positives of the GDR's supplanting can be deduced. Alex partners a West German colleague at his new job, the two establishing a close relationship that would not have been possible until recently. Germany now reunited; the streets of the East resemble that of a rainbow, a kaleidoscope of color not evidenced before. The hustle is ongoing as new replaces old, frenetic activity and the destruction of the monuments of yesteryear. Lenin’s statue, one of the most memorable uses of symbolism in the film, is carried off through the streets by helicopter, the only person noticing the significance of this the veteran socialist who has ventured out of her apartment building for the first time since before re-unification. The passing of epochs also brings about the passage of truth, as the family later learns the

Related Documents