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Goodbye Lenin!

I went to the movies again yesterday (sometimes I swear it's like the busses: nothing for ages, then 3 or 4 come at once), to see Goodbye Lenin!, a delightful German film about a young Ossi who desperately tries to keep the news of the demise of the German Democratic Republic a secret for his ailing mother, who has invested so much of her life and energy in the socialist paradise. He is helped by his friends and neighbours, but it turns out at the end that it's not just they that are living a lie. It's a beautifully made, bittersweet film, and I can recommend it to everybody.

I spent a couple of weeks in Berlin last year, and it was great to see and recognise parts of it in the film, too. It's a very interesting city, although it appears there isn't very much to do to keep yourself amused when you're there for a longer stay -- it's a bit depressing because of high unemployment and empty houses and office spaces; and hardly anyone speaks a word of English...It's very definitely still trying to find its feet, but in a funny sort of way, that's part of its charm as well the renovated palaces and the brand new government buildings.

Next film on my list: Master and Commander. I loved watching the swashbucklers from the 30s and 40s on TV when I was a child, and Pirates of the Caribbean has whetted my appetite earlier this year. Now I've just got to press someone in to coming with me (my usual film buddy has gone back to live in Birmingham recently)...or go on my own.

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Comments

gamiila
Dec. 2nd, 2003 01:26 am (UTC)
it's a movie about a whole ideology, a whole era

Yes, but it's more than that. It made me realise, for the first time in my life, that the 'proletariat' in communist societies really did think and act differently from their counterparts in the decadent West. Neighbours addressing one another as 'comrade' as a matter of fact, and congratulating one another on their birthdays saying they did so 'on behalf of the party'. I never realised that every aspect of daily life had been so politicised people actually thought and felt differently from us. The Wall coming down must have been a huge shock to many, not just the higher echelon.
(Deleted comment)
gamiila
Dec. 3rd, 2003 04:34 am (UTC)
It kind of makes sense, doesn't it? It's just that I don't think I ever really thought about what it would mean, to live under communist rule, or any kind of totalitarian regime really. I suppose I just assumed the majority of people finding themselves in that situation would just try to live their lives as best they could within the limitations set for them by the authorities, and just worried about keeping their head down. People being sheep, and all...

Kind of makes me wonder whether we in the West are truly free and independent in our thinking, or have we been indoctrinated from an early age as well?