Such West. The two cities split into

 Such a drastic change would not be possible
without issues. With all citizens from both East and West now free, does not mean
that they were not necessarily better off. Replacement of Soviet with capitalism
meant there was a huge number of job loss and major unemployment. Those
specialists who were highly regarded and highly paid by the communist state, were no longer paid. The government was also unable
to afford a strong police force or army of that matter which lead to an increase
in political violence and crime. This film, retraces the steps of the Kerner
Family to show various shots at the ideologies of both capitalism and communism.
It converts a family crisis into a symbol of Germany’s attempts to rebuild
themselves as a nation and heal the wounds of their past.

 The Film explains a historic event in a funny way
yet without conciliating the integrity that democracy represented in those
times. The History of
Berlin is an extremely important aspect to the plot of this film. Before the
Second World War, the United Kingdom, The United Sates and The Soviet Union signed
a Potsdam Treaty which defined Berlin’s borders. Hence, Berlin was divided into
2 parts with Soviet control in the East and US, French and British leadership in
the West. The two cities split into two due to the creation of the Berlin Wall.
The wall separated the German Democratic
Republic (GDR) in the East from the Federal
Republic of Germany (FRG) in the West. Good
bye, Lenin does not talk negative about the GDR, but neither supports the GDR.
It does not provide an insight into the dark side of the East Government it focuses
on the struggle of a family affected by those changes occurred post
Reunification. The Berlin Wall was taken down with each piece of brick,
representing a new way of life for both East and West Germany. The wave of
change swept over East Germany and this time brought a new social, political,
and economic landscape. East Germany was suddenly overwhelmed with rights such
as the right to vote for many political parties, the freedom of speech, and mainly
the freedom of movement. The media were no longer censored by Gestapo nor controlled by the state,
people began to trust each other and no longer lived in fear of inoffizelle miterbeiter, also Stasi no longer roamed the streets and
political prisoners were not imprisoned any more.

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 As a
manifestation of a growing desire by the West to understand and interpret the
East differently, Good Bye, Lenin
has an important role in bringing Germany one step closer to
tearing down the remainder of the Mauer
im Kopf, which still divides Germans long after the fall of the actual
Wall. The film vocalizes a belief that the Ossis
and the Wessis were “things that
belonged together”. Consequently, it was only natural that they “grow together”
as well. Scenes of Ariane and her boyfriend in their Burger King uniforms
repetitively thanking customers “for choosing Burger King” evoke images of GDR children in their Free German Youth (FDJ) uniforms singing
Socialist anthems. Similarly, in the wake of reunification, red banners
advertising Coca-Cola appear like propaganda banners in praise of Lenin. By
presenting striking commonalities between the two societies, the film
emasculates the differences between the East and West. The film itself is both
a reflection of and an important contributor to the ongoing project of national
reconciliation.

 A
contextualization of Alex’s desire for an imaginary East German utopia further
underlines Good Bye, Lenin’s role in Germanys’ continual journey of reunification. Crucially, it reflects and reinforces
the social and cultural phenomenon’s known as Ostalgia, described as “an expression of the
destabilizing juncture between the old and the new, between a stable and
recognizable past in a well-defined nation state and a presently evolving
culture that is in search of foundational myths”. Ostalgia therefore, can function as a stabilizing and
negotiating tool for Germans who remain caught between the past and the future. Issues such as the fear of the Stasi and Gestapo as well as the socio-economic
problems that plagued the regime were never reflected in the film. Likewise, it
suggests that a preoccupation with a utopic ideal can have dystopic
consequences. Alex’s obsession with resurrecting and constructing an ideal East
Germany for his mother becomes a stumbling block to living a new life in a new
Germany.

Good
bye, Lenin is based during the intermediate period
proceeding and succeeding the fall of the “Iron Curtain”. The film relates a
wry tale of German reunification through an Eastern perspective. Examining Good bye, Lenin under the lens of two
cultural phenomenon’s Ostalgia and Mauer im Kopf, the films political significance
exists primarily in its understanding and unique presentation of Germanys’
journey towards national reunification. A pertinent political message and
leitmotif regarding the fabricated nature of political and social realities is
utmost evident. The main character Alex embraces the fictional East German existence
as well as creating an article of the ideal East Germany that he himself “would
have liked to have”. His frenzied, silly, yet ingenious methods in fabricating
elements of the Eastern life, like redecorating his strong advocate of Socialism
and a political activist mothers’ room in a distinctively
Eastern style and cleverly repackaging pickles he fools his mother in believing
East and West Germany remain segregated.

In the
following essay political and historical contexts in a German film and a recent
newspaper article on German society today will be discussed. The film Good bye, Lenin signifies German society
both before and after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Collapse of DDR and the beginning of Die Wende. The article talks about the
fear of Schrumpfnation and social
issues such as Fluchtlingkrise, as
well as new political groups like P.E.G.I.D.A
and A.F.D.