Deception

Good Bye, Lenin! is a film that focuses on a man (Alex) trying to recreate a false world that no longer exists for his ailing mother. He goes to great lengths to accomplish this, from recording fake news broadcasts to covering up the changes that are happening across the country. Through his deception in order to keep his mother safe, he misses out on the chance to exchange his families money. Additionally, Alex himself was deceived by his mother about his father stealing a childhood of memories from him.

Ultimately, the families actions seem to reflect everything we have learned about the Soviet Union, the Eastern bloc, and Cold War this semester. There was a general bend towards deceptions from the actions of officials to hiding the truth from the Soviet public in newspapers and media to creating distorted industrial numbers. No one in the country had the ability to be truthful to themselves or each other. Do you think that Alex in the film represents the Soviet leaders and their deception? Do you think that the Soviet Union’s deception prevented them from reaching their full potential?

One Reply to “Deception”

  1. I definitely see the theme of Alex’s deceptions as those that also followed the path of the Soviet Union. He uses carefully articulated words and phrases to disguise his and his sister’s jobs, and how to describe the state of East Germany. This reflects in many of the readings and images we’ve seen that show differing images of what was shown versus what was true. For example, the emphasis that the Soviet Union placed on the “triumphs” of tackling social issues such as homelessness and racism overshadowed the issues of the quality of that housing and overall quality of life. I think, though, that Alex’s deceit comes from a place of love and trying to do right by his mother, whereas the same might be not be said for Soviet Union leaders. It was damaging to all and definitely did not help anyone’s situation, no matter what the purpose or intention was.

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