Look at you - all grown up, with your very own flag and that new country smell - welcome to the world! Sorry about Canada dragging its heels to officially recognize your national status, but we've got this niggling sovereignty thing going on over here, you see, so we can't be seen to be too excited about a newly independent nation. Quebec might get a little too excited. Nothing personal. But very soon, I am sure, Canada will deem that sufficient time has elapsed to welcome you fully. And then we'll send you a nice sandstone Inuit carving or something.
All this talk of nations transforming themselves has reminded me of a wonderful film I watched this weekend. I know many of you bloggies have already seen Good Bye Lenin! because you recommended it during our discussions about The Edukators.
And what a fine recommendation that was! Good Bye Lenin! is such a sweet and poignant film. Weeks before the fall of the Berlin wall, an East Berlin woman suffers a heart attack and falls into a coma for 8 months. When she awakens, Germany has unified and the socialist government is no more. Because the doctors have warned her family that her heart is still very frail and that she must avoid all excitement, and because she is such a staunch party supporter, her family creates the illusion that they are still living in the DDR.
From transferring her food into jars with the old labels she is used to seeing, to falsifying news report to explain some of the changes that their mother has inadvertently spotted from her bedroom window, the family's attempts at deception keep getting more and more elaborate.
Katrin Saß is wonderful as the fragile and bewildered mother, while Daniel Brühl, who is quickly becoming one of my favourite actors, is mesmerizing as Alex, the son who cares so much for his mother's well-being that he is willing to go to extreme lengths to maintain the illusion.
Given the zombie chomp of approval, Good Bye Lenin! is a must see if you like German films with a little sweetness, a healthy dose of humour, and a lot of heart.