(out of 5)
Days before the Wall is taken down, an East Berlin schoolteacher who loves her socialist country with great fervour has a heart attack and goes into a coma, missing all the massive changes that capture the world’s attention. When she awakens months later from her deep sleep, her loving son does his best to make her unaware of the new world she’s living in, fearing the shock would bring on another attack. The first few days of switching product labels and returning her original furniture to her bedroom are easy enough for fooling a bedridden woman, but eventually she starts wanting to watch television and questions her son about the appearance of a Coca-Cola advertisement outside her window. Not just a comedy, this beautifully realized film is sincerely touching, particularly when the son’s attempts to maintain his mother’s blissful ignorance gradually reveal themselves as being motivated by his love for her and his nostalgia for his youth. Excellent acting and a sharp screenplay that refuses to commit to a genre are assets to this illuminating tale that looks intimately at the heart of a world political event.
Directed by Wolfgang Becker
Cinematography by Martin Kukula
Music by Yann Tiersen
Production Design by Lothar Holler
Costume Design by Aenne Plaumann
Film Editing by Peter R. Adam