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March 18, 2004

"Good Bye Lenin!" In Theaters Now

Good Bye Lenin! -- A wonderfully interesting and complex film from Germany is now playing.Good Bye Lenin! is a remarkable film that took Germany by storm last year as the country’s number one movie at the box office. Fortunately for the United States, it premiered in Park City, Utah at Sundance earlier this year where I was lucky enough to see it. The film is a heart-warming tale, equal parts laughs and drama. I'd suggest not watching the trailer for this one if you can avoid it and seeing it without any real notion of what it's about. Without going into any specifics, the film tracks an Eastern German family's transition to a unified Germany around the time the Berlin Wall fell.

I had the chance to meet Daniel Brüehl, the brilliant, charismatic young actor that plays the starring role after the showing at Sundance. There's a tenderness crafted by director Wolfgang Becker communicated through Brüehl’s character Alex that is reminiscent of what Jean-Pierre Jeunet expressed via Audrey Tautou in Amelie (although with a German twist). These films are similar in their warmth of characters and story development yet completely original in their actual stories.

At the time, audience members were asking questions such as “Hey, when will this open in the U.S.?” and the answer was “We’re not entirely sure yet. It depends on if someone picks it up.” I’m very glad to see that this film is beginning embraced by independent cinema in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

The film is now playing at the Embcaradero and other theaters in San Francisco.

Posted by Rob Christensen to the Film category at 11:47 AM.
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