In accordance to this terms’ focus on the German reunification and East Berlin, the next film we will watch is: SONNENALLEE (Sun Avenue)
Wednesday, November 17th
This funny, yet crazy 1999 comedy film depicts the lives of young teenagers growing up in East Berlin in the 1970s and trying to revolt against the political system, that forbids them to listen to western pop music. In this respect the double album EXILE ON MAINSTREET of THE ROLLING STONES plays an important role…
The Sonnenallee is an actual street in Berlin that was intersected by the border between East and West during the time of the Berlin Wall, although it bears little resemblance to the film set.
This movie is a colorful, funny and crazy way of how life in communist Eastern Germany was portrayed. For some it was an inappropriate way of sugarcoating the harsh conditions, for others it was a creative piece of art that doesn’t try to be serious but pick up the teenage rock’n'roll spirit in a country opponent to all these ideals. It’s humorous way of doing so and the way of playing with music make this film a yet entertaining experience.
Come to watch it and make up your own mind, whether you think it’s an inappropriate trash film or just a piece of art!
As usually we will watch it in German with English subtitles.
Here is the trailer: Trailer – Sun Alley (Sonnenallee)
If you want to know more about the storyline read this (caution: spoiler!):
Michael (or ‘Micha’) is a 17-year-old growing up in communist East Germany (GDR) in the 1970s. He spends his time with his friends listening to banned pop music, partying and trying to win over the heart of Miriam, who is dating a West Berlin boy. Over the course of the movie his best friend Mario, falls for an existentialist, gets kicked out of school and subsequently discovers he is going to be a father. The closing of the movie upsets Micha’s thus far idealistic life, as Mario sells out his ideals by signing up for military service to support his girlfriend and the child. Furthermore, his young blonde friend, Wuschel, is shot by a GDR guard, but survives, thanks to The Rolling Stones double album Exile on Mainstreet in which the bullet has lodged. The young boy is devastated, however, prominently displaying the importance of pop music in their lives. Later, he gets a new copy by using the 50 West-German Mark that he gets from Miriam’s ex-boyfriend when the latter causes him to crash his bike (accidentally). The film ends with a crowd of East Berliners advancing on the Berlin Wall entry/exit gate and singing The Letter by Dynamo 5, led by Michael and Wuschel, who jump down from the balcony they were perched and seemingly move through to the Western side.