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Berliner brief

Goodbye Lenin!

By Anna Funder   August 2003

Goodbye Lenin! is the most successful film in Germany this year, measured by box office receipts and awards, and looks set to be one of the most successful ever. Both west and east Germans have at last done something together-poured into the cinemas to laugh and cry about unification. The film is charming, funny, sad and deeply flawed.

When the wall falls in 1989, Alex is 19, his sister Ariane is 16. They live in East Berlin with their mother Christiane, a schoolteacher. Christiane’s husband has escaped to the west some years earlier. Abandoned, she gives all her passion to…

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