literature, cinema, fine arts

Good Bye, Lenin! (2003)

no interval
  • Produced by Müpa Budapest
  • Bridging Europe 2021 - Budapest-Berlin

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In 1989, an oppressive sight in Berlin was knocked down: the Wall. The same year saw further astonishing events, as the socialist system was also dismantled. These events became known in Hungary as the 'System Change'. Wolfgang Becker's film, however, does not evoke these celebrated historical events. Instead, this black comedy attempts to show us the lives of ordinary people in a place that had become a dividing line between East and West. It is a humorous, bitter story. When a woman falls into a coma, she is in the GDR, but, by the time she wakes up, she finds herself in another world - reunified Germany - except for the fact that her family tries to save her from the shock.

Good Bye, Lenin! is not as simple a film as it first appears. It features the past, the world of confinement, of constraint. Of oppression. Yet this past, as displayed through its sights and its atmosphere, is ridiculously retro. Upon which the conflicts of the new, free world intrude. What happens when something that was forbidden yesterday is now obligatory? How do different generations adapt to the changing rules? The woman is confined to her home after waking from her coma. Her children fake TV shows and news reports, and decorate her apartment just as it was before the fall of communism. We laugh. But how should one adapt to the new world? We were nothing, and now we will be everything? Or is it the other way around? Will we get over it? In this half of the world, on the other side of the former Iron Curtain, this process hasn't been particularly successful. We are still at war with our past; unpleasant odours sometimes emerge from the drain. At times, nostalgia. Everything was simpler back then. There was order. They decided for us. Sure, it's great that there is no longer a stream of slogans, no marching, and no need to falsely profess loyalty. But do we know, or want to know, the price of freedom? Wolfgang Becker's film poses these questions. And, 30 years after the fall of the Wall and 18 years after the film was made, these are questions that remain overwhelmingly thought-provoking.

In German, with Hungarian subtitles.
The discussions before and after the screening will be conducted in Hungarian.

Presented by: Müpa Budapest

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  • Director
    Wolfgang Becker
  • Host
    András Réz

Bridging Europe 2021 - Budapest-Berlin

Bridging Europe 2021 - Budapest-Berlin

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