The film Goodbye Lenin focuses on many serious issues vanished inside of a comical illusion. By combining elements of satire with the central Love Story between Alex and his mother the director creates a striking contrast between the emotional turmoil of one family’s response to a life-threatening condition and the serious political backdrop to the story. This film, because of this, is best described as a tragicomedy where in the comedy deals with a tragically sad situation in a way that is quite humorous. We laugh as the audience as Alex desperately tried to protect his mother from the “Real World” but at the same time the audience is still moved by her death or strongly affected by how strong the love is between the mother and the son. Of course certain references are only understood by the German audience what other references can make audiences from all over the world laugh out loud.
Alex’s actions become increasingly bizarre. His improbable situation is made particularly entertaining by the Hues of running jokes. And the plot speeds up until it is resolved with the final confession and last stroke of the mother. Throughout this film the audience Smiles at otherwise sad situations. Without realizing it, Alex becomes controlling of his friends and his family in order to protect his mother which relies upon Him using methods of the old communist state. This irony of course indicates that the mother’s original stroke was brought about by seeing her son protesting against the old communist state.
Throughout this film, there are several interesting motifs. Repeatedly we see flashes of space and space travel particularly when we learn about Alex’s childhood and how obsessed he was with space travel early in the film. When his mother first ventured into the outside world after she had her stroke, she sees Lennon in the sky drifting into the sunset. As his statue passes in front of her we see his hand located at the front of the frame as though he is beckoning to her and yet she does not follow him. For the mother coming out into physical reality meant letting go of the imaginary world in which she spent years and have a thing. It is also a chance for her to truly face the reality of her situation and own up to the fact that she abandoned her husband and that the ideals she used to justify the lies she told you her children were no longer valid. But her character is not alone in this. Alex had to face up to the fact that the world he built for his mother was built out of line and would collapse sooner or later.
See director interview archive footage from actual events during this time into this narrative which is a very important technique. The technique encourages the audience to remember that in spite of the community events taking place these events were real. This truly helps the audience to play into the concept of truth and lies. By taking real footage the director is able to demonstrate how easily footage of real events can be manipulated in order to create the response desired. That fake Berlin created by Alex in order to protect his mother embodied the ideal that some parts of Germany truly dreams of achieving. And letting go of this dream amounted to having to let go of many former heroes. For Alex this of course meant letting go of Sigmund Jahn and for his mother it meant letting go of Lenin. Jahn drives away in a taxi and the Lenin is transported into the air. This film truly explores these issues while at the same time telling and emotionally involved and funny story.