Daphne Berdahl's Film 'Good Bye, Lenin !'

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Upon its emergence, ‘Good Bye, Lenin!’ was characterised by a so-called renaissance of GDR Heimat feeling, as presented by Daphne Berdahl, writing on late 1990s trend of recuperation and reproduction of Ostalgic GDR products, which she argues revealed complex relations between personal histories, disadvantage, dispossession and the betrayal of promises. Whereas these complexities are echoed in the film, one could argue that it has a more expanded function as well as could be perceived in a globally charged context. ‘Good Bye, Lenin!’ is set in the East Germany, around the time of the fall of Berlin Wall and circles around the Kerner family, comprising of a twenty-year-old Alex, his older sister Ariane and their mother Christiana. One night,…show more content…
Similarly, Ludewig has argued that the “existence in limbo, the feeling of having lost the past without having found one’s place in the present, has led to people taking refugee in a utopia, a mental construct that exists outside of facts”. Hence, ‘Good Bye, Lenin!’ could be perceived as functioning as an imagined reality enabled by mediascapes, a globalisation paradigm introduced by Arjun Appadurai. Appadurai has argued that the “[t]he image, the imagined, the imaginary – these are all terms that direct us to something critical and new in global cultural processes: the imagination as a social practice”, a form of negotiation between individual sites of agency and globally defined areas of opportunity. Mediascapes, together with ethnoscapes, technoscapes, financescapes and ideoscapes, form building blocks for these imagined worlds, in which the reality is evident as fluidity rather than concreteness, since media generates a pictorial dimension, in which one can live in a world one strives to live in. The key characteristic of a mediascape is that it offers, especially in television and film forms, a selection of images producing narratives, profoundly blending the realm of commodities and the…show more content…
Secondly, the production of an imaginary Heimat is embedded with the harmonious family affiliations that produce an imagined community, which, in turn, has the capacity to resist. Certain critics referred to this merging of aspects of social and political reality as well as personal escapes of that reality, as a “psychotic substitution of actual experiences with a dark conspirational vision: the creation of a delusionary homeland”. However, it could be argued that it is the master narrative of unified German Heimat produced by the state, which is embedded with the delusional quality, as it fails to acknowledge the multiplicity of experiences. ‘Good Bye, Lenin!’, on the other hand, openly underlines the ability that mediascapes have to produce an array of realities, merging imaginary aspects with the truth. This is especially evident in a series of fake news reports, devised by Alex and his friend, as responses to his mother being accidently exposed to Western innovations. For instance, a giant ‘Coca-Cola’ advert that Alex’s mother sees through her bedroom window, is described as an outcome of a recent discovery that the brand was, in fact, a Socialist invention. Similarly, when Christiana catches a glimpse of the abundance of Western cars in the traffic,
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