The German Democratic Republic: Film Analysis

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Germany today is one of the strongest countries in the Europe. In terms of size, it is the seventh largest country in the continent and also has the largest economy. It has a very active role in Europe, being a member of the European Union. As a country, it can be envied by others. Its people also remain one of most highly educated and literate in the world. The Economist named Germany as the sixteenth best country to be born in. Due to this, Germany and its people’s image appears to the rest of the world as strong, proud and united. However, even in recent times, this was not always the case. Living in Germany in the twentieth century can be described as nothing but turbulent. The country was even not always united as one. However as the years…show more content…
However, because of Alex’s journeys into the West, we get to see both throughout. From the film, readers learn quite early on that the German Democratic Republic is not a country that most of its people particularly like. A negative image of the country is portrayed, with its people being seen to be quite unhappy. It appears to be strict, lacking foreign influence and overall a generally unhappy place to live. Contrasting with the East, ‘Goodbye Lenin’ portrays a very positive image of West Germany, as a safe, positive place. Its people are portrayed to be generally happier as Rainer comments on occasion on how he prefers the West and its people. (‘Euch Ossis kann man nichts recht machen! Hauptsache, ihr habt was zu meckern.’) People of the East yearn to live in the West, where people are happier, having more rights and a better quality of life. This can be seen in the opening scene when Christiane is being questioned about her husband, Robert, Alex’s estranged father, who fled to the West in the hopes for a better life. Emigrating to the West is illegal so it appears Robert wanted to escape badly enough that he knew he would never be able to return to the country he once grew up in. Robert’s fleeing first creates the image of the East appearing as an unhappy and strict place to live and we also later learn that he moved because life…show more content…
However, when the film’s biggest advocate for German Democratic Republic, Christiane admits that she was meant to secretly move her family to the West with Robert, it becomes clear that almost nobody prefers the socialist homeland. After an opportunity to visit the West arose, Christiane didn’t leave to go to the West because she didn’t want to, but because she was scared of getting caught. (‘Ich habe es nicht geschafft. Ich hatte wahnsinnige Angst. Ihr wisst ja nicht, wie das ist. Einen Ausreise-Antrag stellen mit 2 Kindern. Mann kann nicht sofort
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