Hello Lenin

Goodbye Lenin, Hello Becker

Becker and Bruehlhommes Eibner Press photo
Wolfgang Becker and Daniel Bruehl.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    A new film by Wolfgang Becker, maker of “Good Bye Lenin,” lampoons the worlds of art and media.

  • Facts


    • Mr. Becker’s big hit, “Good Bye, Lenin!”, was savaged by German film critics, but the tale was seen as a bittersweet but dignified examination of the fall of East Germany and its impact on the citizens of the German Democratic Republic.
    • The new film reunites the director with actor Daniel Brühl from “Good Bye, Lenin!”, though this time he plays a much nastier role as the contemptuous and contemptible biographer.
    • Despite the critical and financial success of the 2003 hit, Mr. Becker found it difficult to line up financing for his newest film, which also has the largest budget of any movie he has ever made.
  • Audio


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If you step into the office of film director Wolfgang Becker, the first thing you see are all the files of accounts.

They’re a reminder of the primary goal of any movie – not art; a film is a commodity, a very expensive product of the culture industry.

It cost just €4.8 million or $5.45 million to produce Mr. Becker’s 2003 hit, “Good Bye, Lenin!” which by November 2003 already had earned $55.69 million worldwide.

Though the film was a smash hit worldwide, it took Mr. Becker over a decade to make another film. He struggled to find financing too.

Back in 2003, Mr. Becker’s big hit, “Good Bye Lenin,” told a story about German reunification. The mother of a family in Berlin becomes unwell and after the doctor tells the children they should protect her from shocks, they try to recreate the world of the German Democratic Republic, where nothing has changed.

In Mr. Becker’s office, there is a brightly colored rocket from the film set in Mr. Becker’s office, right next to the accounting files. It’s the rocket that Alex – played by Daniel Brühl – wanted to fly into space like Sigmund Jähn, East Germany’s first pilot cosmonaut pilot.

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