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January, 2004 - Nr. 1


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Goodbye, Lenin!
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World Cup 2006 in Berlin

"Goodbye, Lenin!" sweeps European film awards

  TWIG - Decade-old Trabis that repeatedly broke down, too little money – Wolfgang Becker had countless issues to confront while filming his award-winning film "Goodbye, Lenin!" In the end, the film that became a labor of love for the director also made him one of Germany’s most successful directors – and last weekend was the next big pay-off.

The German comedy that hilariously underscored the rapid changes experienced by post-communist East Germany after the fall of the Berlin Wall took home six prizes at the 16th annual European Film Awards in Berlin last Saturday (December 6), including best film, best actor, best screenwriter — and all three viewer’s choice awards.

Becker accepted the viewer’s choice award for favorite director graciously, saying that there were many moments that the cast and crew almost gave up the project due to catastrophic filming conditions.

The screenplay for the film by Bernd Lichtenberg – which has been called the main component of the film’s success – was also honored with an award.

At the ceremony, "Goodbye, Lenin!" actor Daniel Bruehl accepted the award for best actor, as well as the viewer’s choice award for his portrayal of a son who will do anything to keep his ailing mother from discovering the truth – that the German Democratic Republic has fallen. "The film was like a history lesson for me," said Bruehl.

In his acceptance speech, Bruehl spoke about the way that Katrin Sass, who played his mother, became a true maternal figure for him in the filming process - so much so that his real mother became jealous. Katrin Sass took home the viewer’s choice award for best actress.

"Goodbye, Lenin!" has already proven itself in Europe, having drawn critical acclaim since its continent-wide release in February. But the final test of its success as movie-goer darling will come in January, when the film competes as Germany’s official contender for the Oscar for best foreign language film.

"Goodbye, Lenin’s" triumph at the European Film Awards is rendered even more extraordinary due to the stiff competition offered by other European favorites this year. Lars von Trier’s "Dogville" starring Nicole Kidman took home the critic’s award for best director – what some publications have called "a band-aid of consolation" – while Francois Ozon’s "Swimming Pool" garnered a best actress nod. Isabel Coixet’s much-acclaimed "My life Without Me" was shut out.
Republished with permission from "The Week in Germany"


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