23 January 2007 | gerdd
An amusing time travel yarn taking us into pre-unification East Germany
Two German states and their ultimate reunification have brought us loads of material for documentaries, dramas and comedies - mostly comedies, it appears. This one is particularly amusing in its depiction of the situation in East Germany in 1974 (less than 20 years before the Berlin Wall and the communist empire fell).
During the 1974 soccer world cup in West Germany the East German team scores a historic win over arch-enemy West Germany by a goal scored by Jürgen Sparwasser, who became a national hero for it. So much about the historic situation.
This goal marks the pivotal moment of the story. It is the moment that the protagonist, Jenny, was conceived. Her mother had been on a school excursion to Berlin and the bus broke down during transit through East Germany. She was accidentally left behind when the bus continued the journey. She met Jenny's father, an East German amateur disk jockey, the two fell in love, had one romantic night and were separated again by the circumstances. Trying to rejoin his love, Jenny's father was killed by East German border guards.
We switch to 2006. Jenny, hoping for a career in radio journalism, decides to travel to East Germany to research the story of her parents. A freak accident - suspension of disbelief is required here - throws her back into the year 1974. You guessed it, the time is just before the pivotal moment and Jenny realizes that she may now have the chance to change the course of history - for better or for worse, as her interference could well mean that her parents never got together at all.
The first obstacle is that her father-to-be finds her - the 30-something apparent party functionary - much more attractive than this schoolgirl from the west that is to be her mother.
The twists and turns of the plot kept me glued to my seat and constantly amused. I won't give you any more of the story or even the ending, but this is, of course, a comedy.
A good pace, fresh new faces, accurate historical background with satirical commentary, it all comes together here. The result is arguably even more entertaining than "Goodbye, Lenin".
This may not be an all time classic, but it is good entertainment and will survive the many on-air reruns it will invariably get.