Thursday, 20 October 2011

Goodbye Stasi!

I know it may sound a little odd, but I have this thing for history during the era in which half of Europe was ruled by communism. It's not like I have any sympathy for Stalin, on the contrary! It fascinates me how Europe could have been so divided and it makes even more impact when I think that it was only 22 years ago the Berlin Wall fell.
Yes, I admit it's especially Germany's position I'm interested in. Unlike many other students, German was one of my favourite subjects at highschool and German grammar has the same impact on me as solving a sudoku. I also have this weak spot for Kafka; who is not German, I know, but he wrote in German and that's what counts for now. But what caught my interest the most, is how one of the most powerful countries of Europe could turn into two countries, controlled by other states.
This Summer, I was in Berlin for the first time and it surely had an impact on me. Seeing how the wall cut Berlin literally in half was so strange; it just felt somewhat surreal, even though I knew it was true.

Remains of a divided Berlin

Everything I saw, reminded me of the movie Goodbye Lenin, that tells the story of Alexander, who is an adolescent at the time the wall falls, but has to pretend the wall is still there every time he's near his mother, because she had been in a coma and wasn't allowed to get shocked by anything because of that. Such a wonderful movie, that's incredibly funny, yet tragical.

The typical humourof Goodbye Lenin

The atmosphere throughout the whole movie is wonderful, and not in the last place because of the music of the wonderful Yann Tiersen, whose piano pieces are stuck in the heads of every fan of the European film industry.
I even like this movie better than the very tragical movie Das Leben der Anderen. That movie shows us how a Stasi agent spies on a writer and his wife and knows and reports everything they say and do. In the DDR, everyone could be your enemy and you always had to be careful with what you said and what you did.

The trailer of Das Leben der Anderen

This is surely is a good movie too, and if you are more into dramatical movies than into comedies, you should absolutely watch this one. I just know that I like Goodbye Lenin more, because of its humour, and German humour is my absolute favourite humour in the world. (But I love British humour too.)

Have you ever seen either of them?


  1. I studied German for a bit and loved it. Wish I still was able to study it! Goodbye Lenin was an interesting thing... his mother reminds me of my grandfather. : )

  2. I know what you mean. I find WWII so fascinating, and it's not like I would ever be on the German side, but when I was in Berlin it was very interesting seeing it from their point of view. Berlin in such an amazing city, so much history!

    I loved Goodbye Lenin, by the way. Saw it right after I came home, and it was so great to see places I knew. I'm going back in March. Can't wait:)

  3. Thanks for this very interesting post!

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