I know what you're thinking, but if you look hard enough there's plenty of decent german films out there. Like this one. And Run Lola Run. And..well that's about it really.
Being a german student, you might think I'm rather biased, but this film really does german cinema justice. For once, a film that refers back to an important part of germany's history, but at the same time, isn't afraid to laugh at itself. I'm talking about all the little references made to coca cola, that capitalist pig of a company, and to the extensive waiting lists for cars. This film makes you see how ludicrous and laughable the situation had become in the GDR, but of course, back then no one was laughing.
But its not all meaningless jokes about the claustrophobic nature of the former soviet bloc. After her heart attack, Alex knows any shock could kill his mother. And what bigger shock, than to wake up from a coma and discover that in fact the country is once again united, coca cola reigns supreme and your daughter has quit college to work at Burger King. At first glance the situation certainly does not look rosy.
Apart from the few odd moments I mentioned earlier, Goodbye Lenin! isn't exactly a laugh out loud comedy. The challenges Alex (played by the brilliant Daniel Brühl) faces to protect his mother from the truth are in many ways humourous, but there are some very moving moments as well. Alex is in every way a devoted son, even if it causes minor tension with other family members. Combine this with his humourous escapades, from trying to find the right brand of pickles to allowing his student nurse girlfriend to wrap him almost entirely in plaster cast, and this makes for a character we the audience can truly identify with.
Wolfgang Becker's excellent film has been nominated for a Golden Globe, and has also managed to scoop an Academy Award, six European Film Awards and nine German Film Awards. If the rest of Europe is able to see what a fantastic film this is, I'm pretty sure you will be too.