Sun Alley (1999)

  |  Comedy, Drama, Romance


Sun Alley (1999) Poster

A group of kids grow up on the short, wrong (east) side of the Sonnenallee in Berlin, right next to one of the few border crossings between East and West reserved for German citizens. The ... See full summary »


6.8/10
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3 February 2001 | MayhapsItWasGoodBackThen
Delightfully humorous but realistic film about life in the former East-Germany.
I had absolutely no idea of what this film was about (other than that it was supposed to be a comedy of some sort) and therefore had hardly any grand expectations of it. A German movie? Right... well why not give it a try anyways... and what do you know, this film turned out to be an excellent one!

Fresh, funny and tragic, full of lively acting (Thanks to great actors albeit rather unknown to bigger audience I presume), clever script and witty and eloquent dialogue. A sort of coming-of-age story in a disturbing setting which is not exactly the world of opportunities to say the least. Craving for something so bad it's about the only thing you live for (be that a new rock album, a girl you've fallen in love with or something else), rise of counter-culture idealism, loss of innocence, making important choices for the first time in your life (and having sex with more partners than with just yourself, heh).

Altho an average American might think this story must have been a vastly exaggerated, it's not (I'm not of German origin either so I don't have a strong personal feel on the topics this picture deals with but I've read my share of history books so I dare to say I have the basic facts right in which to back myself up). Strip down the humorous elements and I bet you get what life pretty much was back then in the East-Germany. Strong censorship, limited freedom of speech (banned topics, one-party politics), one of the closest guarded boarder lines in the history of mankind with extremely thorough customs procedures etc etc.

It now seems more than unbelievable that there once was a huge wall (and mind you people just 12 years back in history!) which divided a whole city in the middle thus separating an entire nation in two: to the rich west and the poor east. People in the East-Germany forced to live under the forever observing eyes of the Big Brother in the communists' utopia while the better-off people of the West-Germany lived the capitalists' dream...

But still entire families were simultaneously torn apart, former friends and neighbors now living on the other side were seen as traitors and enemies of the state by both sides. The threat was always coming from "the other side" depending on which side you were living in! West-Germans looking down and pitying on their Eastern neighbor while East-Germans envy the western lifestyle but want to hold onto their pride. Common shared past is something you just can't wipe out altogether. Ridiculous times but unfortunately true nevertheless.

I felt that this movie dealt with important issues and things which we should never forget. We all know it's easier to cope with difficult situations if you can filter them through humor and see something good and redeeming in most things rather than always seeing the worst in everything.

Don't get me wrong this isn't a serious movies or hard one to watch per se (except for the ending)- it's great fun but if so desired a great opportunity to start a discussion. There were many outrageously funny scenes and on more than one occasion I burst out laughing out loud!

I strongly recommend seeing this movie. Saved my day at least!

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