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June 2003 - Nr. 6


The Editor
Casual Convergance
Elizabeth Kuehn
KW and Beyond
Over The Fence
Triebwerk Theater Performance
50 Years Alpine Club
Dick reports...
Sybille reports
Ham Se det jehört?
Book Review
Was ist Deutschland?
New Bells Consecrated
Deutscher Filmpreis
Rostock Olympics
3rd in Immigration
Good bye, Lenin!
Photographs US
Polish EU Vote

"Good bye, Lenin!"
Wins Big at German Film Awards

  TWIG - A bittersweet comedy about the demise of the communist east took top honors at this year’s German Film Awards. Already a box office hit, Wolfgang Becker’s Good bye, Lenin! won nine awards in the national competition, including the golden "Lola" for best film, which carries an honorarium of 500,000 euros (US$587,00). The award for best actor and the audience prize went to Daniel Brühl, who played the lead in the film.

"There’s nothing better than reaching a lot of people with a good story," said Brühl in accepting the audience prize at a gala celebration in Berlin on Saturday (June 7). Good bye, Lenin! also won awards for best director, supporting actor, editor, music and set design. Becker, who was called to the podium repeatedly during the course of the evening, seemed especially pleased to receive the director’s prize. "I was really hopeful and anxious to get it," he told fellow guests at the ceremony.

The host of the awards ceremony, game show moderator Jörg Pilawa, played up the popularity of the film by clattering onto the stage in a convertible Trabi, a low-budget car made in the former German Democratic Republic (GDR) that has become a much-loved icon of days gone by. Good bye, Lenin! has won fans in part by tapping into the country’s lingering Ostalgie, or nostalgia for the times, good and bad, that changed forever with the collapse of the GDR. The film tells the story of a young man whose mother falls into a coma shortly before the fall of the Berlin Wall. When she wakes in the spring of 1990, Germany is in the throes of dramatic change. To protect her from the shock, he tries to keep the old GDR alive around her, even as history sweeps it away.

Some 5.8 million moviegoers have seen Good bye, Lenin!, and the film has been purchased for distribution in 63 countries, including the United States. "I’m very happy that the film has found a distributor in the U.S., and not just because of the prestige," said Becker when the production company he helped found, X Filme Creative Pool, announced the foreign sales list Friday. "The screenplay, for one thing, was produced during my stay in the U.S." Screenwriter Bernd Lichtenberg worked closely with Becker in developing the script.

Other prizes went to Hannelore Elsner, named best actress for her solo performance in Mein letzter Film (My Last Film), in which she portrayed an aging actress reviewing her life, and Corinna Harfouch, voted best supporting actress for Bibi Blocksberg, a children’s film about a young witch. British director Stephen Daldry’s The Hours won the award for best foreign film.


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