Introduction to a farewell

Introduction to a farewell

A trip to the British Film Institute provided QE A-level German students with the opportunity to see their set text – Good Bye Lenin! – on the big screen.

The group of 19 QE boys, from Years 12 & 13, represented the largest cohort from any school among the 200 pupils who attended the A-level event on German cinema. Proceedings on the day were conducted in German.

The 2003 film is set in 1989-1990 and tells the story of a young man who must protect his fragile mother from a fatal shock by preventing her from finding out that her beloved nation of East Germany no longer exists.

Head of Languages Christopher Kidd, who organised the trip, said: “This was an excellent opportunity for our boys to apply what they had learnt in the classroom in a new context and they really rose to the challenge.

“The boys also enjoyed the opportunity to learn about the history and development of German cinema,”

The story of Good Bye Lenin! deliberately has strong parallels with the last two years of Lenin’s life, when the leader of the Russian Revolution was living in a controlled environment similar to that portrayed in the film. With the justification that over-excitement might cause Lenin health problems, his successor, Stalin, had one-copy editions of newspapers printed for him, which omitted all news about the political struggles of the time.