Dean O'Brien's Blog

350MC Working with Photography in Context: Research – Goodbye Lenin

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As part on my project the research is stretching far and wide.  I am looking into the influence of western adverts in Ukraine and how they have affected those living there since gaining independence from the U.S.S.R twenty years ago.

After having a tutorial with Elly Clarke it was recommended that I watch the movie ‘Goodbye Lenin’…..

DVD Description

The year is 1989 and East and West Germany are still divided. Alex (Daniel Bruhl) and his sister Ariane (Maria Simon) live in East Germany with their single mother, Christiane (Katrin Sass) who is a staunch Socialist. When Alex’s mother witnesses his arrest on a protest march, she suffers a heart attack and falls into a coma for eight months, just enough time for the Berlin Wall to come tumbling down, along with all of East Germany’s ideals. Eight months later, Christiane wakes up and things have changed. The doctors warn Alex that any shock could bring on a fatal heart attack. He then realizes he must convince his mother that her beloved Communism has not been overthrown but is in fact triumphing over Capitalism. Alex then sets out to recreate every detail of the old East inside the four walls of their tiny council flat … what begins as a little white lie soon turns into a major deception with hilarious consequences!

So what did I gain from watching the film?  An enormous insight into what life was like in a former soviet country.  In a strange kind of way I can’t help but wish that I was there first hand to witness the change.  When walking around the streets of Kiev I still feel like an outsider.  A westerner.  Someone who has had all of those privileges from day one.

For many of these former soviet countries, the changes were not as expected.  The people still struggle and the greedy got richer.  Many state, that while under communist rule, at least the had heating and a roof over their head.  Something not guaranteed in a so-called modern free society.  My research continues..

Check out the trailer below for a taster but I would highly recommend getting the movie…


Written by Dean O'Brien

November 22, 2011 at 7:40 pm

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