Good Bye Lenin!

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Good Bye Lenin! is a 2003 film, set in 1990, about a young man who must protect his fragile mother from a fatal shock after a long coma by keeping her from learning that her beloved nation of East Germany as she knew it has disappeared.

Written and directed by Wolfgang Becker.
The German Democratic Republic lives on – in 79 m²!

Alexander Kerner[edit]

  • Are you serious?! This is 30,000 Marks! [The bank teller says his time is up] Your time is up, too! We used this money for 40 years and now you Wessies think you can tell us it's worthless!? [Bank security men arrive] Let go of me! [Alex shouts at the customers] What are you looking at? It was your money, too!
  • Somehow my scheme had taken on a life of its own. The GDR I created for her increasingly became the one I might have wished for.
  • After over a year, it was time to end the scheme. But unlike in real life, the GDR would get the sendoff it deserved.
  • My mother outlived the GDR by three days. I believe it was a good thing she never learned the truth. She died happy. She wanted us to scatter her ashes to the winds. That's prohibited in Germany, both East and West. But we didn't care. She's up there somewhere now. Maybe looking down at us. Maybe she sees us as tiny specks on the Earth's surface, just like w:Sigmund Jähn did back then. The country my mother left behind was a country she believed in; a country we kept alive till her last breath; a country that never existed in that form; a country that, in my memory, I will always associate with my mother.

Sigmund Jähn[edit]

  • [In a fictional address as the new head-of-state of the DDR] Dear citizens of the German Democratic Republic... If you've lived to see the wonder of watching our blue planet from the depths of the cosmos, you see things differently. Up there, in the depths of space, the people's lives seem small and insignificant. Our German Democratic Republic seems tiny. You ask yourself what humanity has accomplished. Which objectives did we set, which objectives did we realize? Today is our country's anniversary. It's a very little country, seen from the cosmos. But still thousands of people came to us last year. People who we looked to as enemies and who want to live with us today. We know our country is not perfect. But what we believe in, inspired a lot of people in the whole world. Maybe we have drifted off course from time to time. But we collected ourselves. Socialism doesn't mean walling yourself in. Socialism means reaching out to others, and living with others. Not just to dream about a better world, but to make a better world. I have therefore decided to open the GDR borders.


Dr. Wagner: You must protect her from any kind of excitement. And I do mean any kind, Mr. Kerner.
Alexander Kerner: Any kind of excitement.
Dr. Wagner: It would be life-threatening.
Alexander Kerner: And this here? [Shows the doctor a newspaper reading "Good Luck, Germany. Yes to Reunification"]
Alexander Kerner: Wouldn't you call this exciting?

Alexander Kerner: All this stuff has to go. Are the old curtains in the cellar?
Ariane Kerner: You can't be serious.

Ariane Kerner: You were in a coma. Eight months ago.
Christiane Kerner: Eight months? What happened?
Ariane Kerner: Yeah, it was...
Alexander Kerner: It was in October, in the supermarket. There was this enormous queue and it was really hot and you just passed out.
Christiane Kerner: In October?
Alexander Kerner: It was an unusually hot October day.

Denis: Eighth floor?
Alexander Kerner: Yup.
Denis: Elevator?
Alexander Kerner: Broken.
Denis: Shit.
Alexander Kerner: You can say that again.

Sigmund Jähn: Where to?
Alexander Kerner: Wannsee
Sigmund Jähn: I know what you think. Everyone does. But I'm not him.

Denis: Denis [handing Alex a video cassette]
Denis: It's my best production ever. A pity your Mom will be the only audience...

Robert Kerner: Sorry, do we know each other?
Alex: Yes we know each other.
Robert Kerner: Yeah, I can't quite place you, help me out?
Alex' stepsister: His name is Alexander...
Robert Kerner: [Stunned] Alex?


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