"The GDR survives -- on 79 square meters!"

Shortly before the fall of the Berlin wall, the young East German Alexander Kerner's dedicated Communist mother sees her son in an anti-government demonstration and falls into a coma. When she awakens eight months later, the doctors tell Alexander that his mother cannot abide a new shock. Alexander therefore orchestrates an elaborate ruse, complete with fake television programs, to keep his bed-ridden mother from finding out that the GDR is gone.

German [[{{Dramedy}} bittersweet comedy]] from 2003, with a lot of subtle humor, playing on the feeling of shell-shock many East Germans felt upon being catapulted into the Capitalist world and the almost overnight disappearance of their country. Many of the visual clues might be easy to miss for people not familiar with the common cliches about the GDR.

!! This film provides examples of:

* AgeCut: Alex is a student launching a model rocket in school. The camera pans up as the rocket launches and pans down to find Alex 10 years older.
* TheAllegedCar: The family's acquisition of a Trabant after "just" 3 years' wait- a sky-blue wagon, no less- is a plot point.
* AlternateHistory: An elaborate alternate history where East Germany ends up dominant over West Germany is created to hide the truth.
* CommieLand: Or rather, the transition from this.
* {{Dacha}}: The family have one[[note]]referred to by the German word ''Datsche'' and helpfully translated in the US-release English subtitles as "weekend cabin" [[/note]], and are shown holidaying there in old home movie footage- later, they take the mother (Christiane) there in the Trabant, where she [[spoiler: tells the real story about the father's defection to the West, and suffers a relapse due to the trauma of remembering the event.]]
* TheDriver: The cab driver who may or may not have been Sigmund Jähn.
* EndOfAnAge: As indicated by the title, the end of communism in Europe.
* ExcitedShowTitle
* FawltyTowersPlot: "Don't mention the Wall!"
* FingerTwitchingRevival: Mom awakes from her coma.
* ForeignLanguageTitle: Uses the English "Goodbye" instead of the German "Auf Wiedersehen".
** This gets a gag in one scene, which shows a (real) headline from the fall of the Wall saying, ''Mach's gut, Deutschland!'' ("Goodbye, Germany!")
* TheFutureIsShocking: A variation occurs (no actual time travel, but EastGermany was in a sort of stasis) -- after the Berlin Wall falls, the protagonist goes to see WestGermany and instantly encounters a TV with porn on. Given how shocking the experience is for him, he reasons that it will be even worse for his mother, leading him to construct his elaborate ruse.
* TheGreatPoliticsMessUp: the movie explores the effects of such (namely the fall of Communism and the re-unification of Germany) on the lives and psyche of ordinary people- some embrace the changes, others struggle to cope.
* GermanHumor: Lots of it in the narration, not all picked up by the subtitles.
* HospitalHottie: Lara, the nurse with whom Alex begins a relationship.
* InTheOriginalKlingon: One of the fake newscasts claims that proof has been discovered to demonstrate that Coca-Cola was invented in East Germany.
* ItsAllJunk: Played with. The old, East German furniture that they threw out turns out to be [[spoiler:the hiding place of their life savings]]. Later, [[spoiler:the money is worthless because the family missed the cut-off to exchange them for West German Marks]].
* LetThemDieHappy: Sort of (but not exactly in the way Alexander intends).
* LockedOutOfTheLoop: The entire plot is based on locking Alex' mother out of the loop. [[spoiler:Later, it's Alex that has to be locked out of the loop, and slightly before that we discover that Alex and his sister were locked out of the loop for over a decade by their mother.]]
** Then there also is the over-arching theme of the GDR's ''entire population'' having been locked out of the loop, and now have understandable trouble adjusting to it.
* MaintainTheLie: what begins as a simple attempt to prevent Christiane from knowing that the Wall fell "takes on a life of its own" and has to be developed into an elaborate ruse, even to the point of making use of Alex's friend and colleague Denis' passion for film-making to create fake news reports (some of which are clearly ridiculous, but imitate the RealLife propaganda) to explain away reality.
* MaleFrontalNudity: Rainer.
* MatchCut: [[DiscussedTrope Discussed]] by Alex's aspiring filmmaker friend Denis.
* OutdatedOutfit: Played with. To keep the ruse going, it is required for any guests to take off their Capitalist Germany clothes and replace them with Communist Germany {{Outdated Outfit}}s.
* PopculturalOsmosisFailure - Denis shows Alex the wedding video he has edited in the style of ''[[ASpaceOdyssey 2001: A Space Odyssey]]''. Alex does not get the reference - having never seen the original film.
* PresentDayPast: Some of the western brand products are in contemporary (with respect to the making of the film) rather than circa-1990 packaging.
** Subverted by the [[Film/TheMatrix Matrix]]-esque T-shirt Denis wears in one scene, which is explained in deleted footage as an idea in the making as well as giving nods to the simulated reality Alex's mother is kept in.
* ProductPlacement: Essential to the story; particularly well-handled when the big red banner being lowered on the building across Karl-Marx-Allee from mom's bedroom window turns out to be [[spoiler: a Coca-Cola ad]].
** WordOfGod is that Ariane works at Burger King because they were much easier to work with in terms of filming and use of trade dress than [=McDonald's=].
* {{Reconstruction}}: Yes, Communism was not a really great thing and most of the GDR former citizens are happy about the change, ''but'', some find themselves without a job and the old organization was providing for everyone, even if very limitedly.
* RiddleForTheAges: Did Lola tell Alex's mother the truth during the emotional conversation between them that the audience sees through the window?
* ShoutOut: A subtle but meaningful anachronism: Alex's partner-in-fake-newscasts Denis Domaschke is seen several times wearing a T-shirt from ''Film/TheMatrix'', another movie about an artificial re-creation of a world that no longer exists.
** It's only anachronistic in the final cut of the movie: a deleted scene expains that Denis has an idea for a film that is essentially exactly the same as The Matrix, which is why he's wearing that shirt.
* ShownTheirWork: The filmmakers did one hell of a job in getting the props correct for the fake-out East Germany.
* TitleDrop: Of the rare visual kind in the mentioned statue scene.
* ToppledStatue: A symbolic scene in which an old statue of Lenin is being flown away by a helicopter.
* UnbrokenVigil: Alex is seen falling asleep while watching over his comatose mother in hospital.
* {{Undercrank}}: Setting up Mom's sickroom.
* TheUnreveal: Just who is that cabbie? [[note]]Very unlikely to be the real Sigmund Jähn, who by then was already working as a freelance consultant for the German Aerospace Centre or DLR. This could be ArtisticLicense, however, assuming he is "meant" to be Jähn in-story.[[/note]]
* UnusualEuphemism: Alex refers to the fall of the Berlin Wall as a "recycling campaign," and the mass emigration of East Germans to the West as people failing to return from "vacations in Hungary," among others.
* WhyWeAreBummedCommunismFell: And how it affected some people more than others- TV repairman Alex fairly quickly finds a better job as a satellite dish installer while his sister, finding her pursuit of a degree in Marxist-Leninist economics suddenly obsolete, winds up working at Burger King and several neighbors in their 50s are unemployed with no prospects. Even East German cosmonaut Sigmund Jähn seems to have ended up as a cab driver after the fall of communism.