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Good Bye Lenin! (2003) - movie overview

Good Bye Lenin! (2003)

User Rating
(107 votes)
Critic Rating
(12 reviews)
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Quotes (3)
Trivia (1)
Plot Description
Shooting Locations

Release Date
• USA: Feb 27, 2004
• UK: 25 Jul 2003
DVD Release Date
• R1: Mar 1, 2004
• R2: 1 Mar 2004

Budget EUR 4,800,000

Official Website:
Good Bye Lenin! Website

MPAA Rating
Rated R for brief language and sexuality.

Running Time
2 hours, 1 minute

Country Germany

Studio ARTE, Westdeutscher Rundfunk, X Filme Creative Pool

More info on

Other Titles
• Goodbye Lenin!

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Genre: Romance, Drama, Comedy, Political, Satire, Experimental, Deception, Drugs, Farce, Coming Of Age, Culture Clash, Doctor

Tagline: Die DDR lebt weiter -- auf 79 qm!

Plot: October, 1989 was a bad time to fall into a coma if you lived in East Germany – and this is precisely what happens to Alex’s proudly socialist mother. Alex has a big problem on his hands when she suddenly awakens eight months later. Her heart is so weak that any shock might kill her. And what could be more shocking than the fall of the Berlin Wall and the triumph of capitalism in her beloved East Germany? To save his mother, Alex transforms the family apartment into an island of the past, a kind of socialist-era museum where his mother is lovingly duped into believing that nothing has changed. What begins as a little white lie turns into a major scam as Alex’s sister and selected neighbors are recruited to maintain the elaborate ruse – and keep her believing that Lenin really did win after all!

Five years after his award-winning Das Leben ist Eine Baustelle (Life is All You Get), filmmaker Wolfgang Becker presents GOOD BYE, LENIN! Fast and funny, intriguing and touching, Becker tells a story that is as unique as it irresistible, an alternative history to that of the recent German past: a human story of the reunification not only of an entire nation, but of a family living in East Berlin. Cast as the two leads are performers who have each won the German Film Award, Daniel

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 External Reviews
external linkThe most unlikely movie success of the year, "Good Bye, Lenin!" has so many internal contradictions that it's a wonder it holds together at all. But director Wolfgang Becker, employing a light yet firm touch that lends a unifying tone to the film's disparate elements, would not have made such an audacious movie if this little German comedy hadn't gone after such a range of game. 4/4

external linkThe film never gets bogged down in the politics of the situation, dwelling instead on the personal ramifications of national upheaval. ... Good bye, Lenin! is a sweet, enjoyable comedy with dramatic elements. 3/4
--Anne Rieman (

external linkIt is not a step-by-step chronicle of German reunification, but it gives a perspective of the time. It's a bonus that this comes as part of an engrossing and well told story. Good Bye, Lenin! is unquestionably worth the price of admission. 3/4
--James Berardinelli (ReelViews)

external link"Goodbye, Lenin!" is a comedy, but a peculiar one. Peculiar, because it never quite addresses the self-deception which causes Christiane to support the communist regime in the first place. 3/4
--Roger Ebert (Chicago Sun-Times)

external linkIn spite of its title, "Goodbye Lenin" is not a film that tries to depict the last days of the communist regime. It is a film which tries to depict how the later days of the communist regime should have been. 4/5
--Rafael Wambier (

 Directed by
Wolfgang Becker
Leben ist eine Baustelle., Das, 1st Annual Directors Guild of Great Britain DGGB Awards
 Written by
Chulpan Khamatova
Moon Father, Tuvalu, Viktor Vogel - Commercial Man
Maria Simon
Luther, Tatort - Minenspiel, Tatort - Feuertaufe
Florian Lukas
Mädchen, Mädchen, Absolute Giganten, Eisbär, Der
Alexander Beyer
Sun Alley, Stille nach dem Schuß, Die, Sophiiiie!
Michael Gwisdek
Barfuss, Berlin Blues, Elementarteilchen
Christine Schorn
Nachrichten, Die, Pommery und Hochzeitstorte, Irgendwas ist immer
Jochen Stern
Aimée & Jaguar, Puppengräber, Der
 Music By
Yann Tiersen
Amelie from Montmartre, The Dreamlife of Angels, Nightshift

external linkThis brilliant, funny, touching and subtle comedy is a delight that grows the further one goes into it. 9/10
--Avril Carruthers (

external linkA brilliantly constructed, touching but unsentimental look at the last days of East Germany. 85/100
--Jamie Gillies (Apollo Guide)

external linkWell-acted, and occasionally moving comedy-drama, but it can’t really sustain its premise over the two hour running time. 3/5
--Matthew Turner (ViewLondon)

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