East Germany in Wolfgang Becker Film «Goodbye Lenin!»

2073 WordsJun 29, 20109 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…
Becker does though identify positive elements of the East German State, it's dissolving bringing about very unfortunate circumstances for some of its citizens. The Kerner family has never known materialism or the lure of extravagant wealth and the prevailing of the West opens up such possibilities, capitalism transforming all before it. Alex's sister Ariane, for example, relinquishes her laborious (as she sees it) status as a University student in exchange for a job serving takeaway food at a Burger King restaurant. It is with such story devices that Becker asks whether the diminution of the GDR is beneficial to its citizens. The sister will undoubtedly make more money now, but in the long term, without a degree and treasured University experience. The lure of a better way of life also causes many of the doctors at the hospital housing Alex's mother to flee to the West, not in search of freedom, but better paid jobs and more comforting circumstances. The difficulty in adapting to changing circumstances occupies the heart of the film. We witness Alex's elderly neighbor frequently complaining that Germany now no longer cares for its Eastern citizens, now a burden and perceived as lazy by Western standards. 'There are also complaints that the Germans in the east want prosperity handed to them on a plate, whereas in the west affluence was only gained through many years of

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