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Saturday, May 29, 2004

Good Bye Lenin and Lola+Billidikid

I've been seeing a lot of German films lately. There are two I particularly like.

One is a somewhat morbid comedy, Good Bye Lenin. A mother in East Germany went into a coma for 8 months, during which time Germany underwent the most drastic change in such a short time period in her long history. Fearing that the shock of all the changes to her way of life might do her in, her children decided to keep the world the way it was, for the time being.

The was one of those classic stories of a little white lie that got a bit out of hand. It was simply hilarious. The film invited us to look into the absurdities in our modern society through the eyes of new comers, yet those insights were so right on, illuminating details that we barely notice anymore as we've become so jaded by them.

And as a foodie, I must say that the bit about the Soviet era packaged food almost killed me!

The second one is heavier, Lola+Billidikid was shown at the Goethe Institute as part of their Young Turks film festival. The director, E. Kutlug Ataman, is a German of Turkish descent. The film is a look into the second-class world of Turks living in the Turkish ghetto in Frankfurt, and at issues like cruelty and prejudice in their many forms, racism, homophobia, incest, even love. Yet it managed to do all those without being at all didactic. The movie was extremely funny and engaging, though at times so incredibly cruel. A fantastic film, really.

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