School of American and Global Studies Faculty Publications with a Focus on Modern Languages and Global Studies
Basketballs and Heart Attacks: Lies and Deceptions in Two German Movies: Wo ist Fred and Good-bye Lenin
An old German proverb says Lügenhabenkurze Beine, (lies have short legs), meaning, the truth will eventually catch up with the lie. In the Bible in Leviticus 19:11 we are taught: “Ye shall not steal, neither deal falsely, neither lie one to another.” Moreover, in John 8:32 we read, “. . . the truth shall set you free.” The Quran teaches “And do not cloak the truth with falsehood (2:42).” Many movies deal with the topic of deception and characters lie for many different reasons. Two successful German movies I will investigate, in which the protagonists weave a web of lies, are Wo ist Fred (2003) and Good-bye Lenin (2006). Though the premise of both films is built on lies, the characters lie for different reasons. In Wo ist Fred, Fred lies to get an autographed basketball with which he intends to bribe his future step son, whereas in Good-bye Lenin, the protagonist lies to protect his mother from another heart attack. All characters involved believe that they are justified in telling bold lies to people they love. However, in both movies, the truth is revealed in the end and as one would expect there is a price to pay. However, is life fair and will destiny punish the liar? I will investigate the effects of lying on the other character in both films and if lying is ever justified.
Journal of Foreign Languages, Cultures and Civilizations
DOI of Published Version
American Research Institute for Policy Development
Copyright © 2019 the author
Rolz, Eckhard, "Basketballs and Heart Attacks: Lies and Deceptions in Two German Movies: Wo ist Fred and Good-bye Lenin" (2019). School of American and Global Studies Faculty Publications with a Focus on Modern Languages and Global Studies. 36.