I wanted people to believe in Daniel Brühl's character and to believe that he does all this without having analyzed everything beforehand. And Daniel portrays this fantastically, because he is simply a very emotional actor. Not for one second do I have any doubts about him or why he does all of this for his mother. He makes it seem totally compelling that at the very moment in which he could actually be taking concrete steps toward the future - he's just fallen in love, has so many options to choose from, everything has changed, it's a wonderful summer of change - he suddenly moves in a different direction, namely backwards, to rebuild what everyone else is merrily leaving behind them. Daniel brings just the right warmth and emotional component to the role, which makes you immediately forget why he goes through all this for his mother.
When I think of Katrin Sass [who plays the Mother), I immediately think of her naturalness and the naturalness of her speech. Of the way she has of relying on very few means and never even coming close to overacting. To me, film is also always a cinema of the eyes, and her eyes are just perfect, which is something you don't encounter too often.
I would definitely not call her a hard-line socialist. I would describe her rather as a woman with a classical helper's syndrome, a type that exists in other social systems as well. There is nothing typically former East German-like here. She's a woman who takes great enjoyment in helping others, and even feels a certain obligation to do so. She simply does it. She's a woman who lives in a country without alternatives. She just can't go anywhere else.
Following a widely praised episode (BLUTWURSTWALZER, [BLOOD SAUSAGE WALTZ]) for the series TATORT (SCENE OF THE CRIME) in 1991, Wolfgang Becker directed an admired television film, KINDERSPIELE (CHILD'S PLAY), which was later distributed to cinemas.
The first film Becker directed for X FILME CREATIVE POOL GmbH, which he co-founded, was DAS LEBEN IST EINE BAUSTELLE (LIFE IS ALL YOU GET, 1997) with Jürgen Vogel and Christiane Paul in the leading roles. lt was a terrific success at the box office.
2002 GOOD BYE, LENIN! (feature)
1997 DAS LEBEN IST EINE BAUSTELLE (LIFE IS ALL YOU GET) (feature)
1992 KINDERSPIELE (TV); CELIBIDACHE (documentary)
1991 BLUTWURSTWALZER [BLOOD SAUSAGE WALTZ); episode of TV series TATORT (SCENE OF THE CRIME)
1987 SCHMETTERLINGE (BUTTERFLIES) (feature)
Cast & Crew
Directed by: Wolfgang Becker
Written by: Bernd Lichtenberg
Produced by: Stefan Arndt
Cinematography: Martin Kukula
Editing: Peter Adam
Production Design: Lothar Holler
Costume Design: Aenne Plaumann
Make-Up & Hair: Lena Lazzarotto, Björn Rehbein
Main Cast: Florian Lukas (Denis), Daniel Brühl (Alex), Alexander Beyer (Rainer), Katrin Sass (Alex's mother ), Burghart Klaußner (Alex's father), Franziska Troegner (Mrs. Schäfer), Chulpan Khamatova (Lara), Michael Gwisdek (Principal Dr. Klapprath), Maria Simon (Ariane)
Nominations and Awards
- European Film 2003
- European Actor 2003
- European Screenwriter 2003
- People's Choice Award 2003
- European Actress 2003
- European Director 2003
- Feature Film Selection 2003