Expertly crafted and emotionally stirring.
Just before the fall of the Berlin Wall, the birthday celebrations of an East German family turn into a tragicomical moment of political and personal breakdown.
In the early autumn of 1989, the days of communist Germany are numbered as the structures of East Germany are starting to give in to the pressures of the West and the peaceful revolution. But in the living room of the Powileits, time stands still. It’s Wilhelm’s (Bruno Ganz, also in this year’s Wings of Desire) 90th birthday. A former resistance fighter and exile, he is an unapologetically hardline communist veteran. His wife Charlotte invited neighbours and friends to celebrate this special occasion. While everybody does their best to pretend that the outside world is still as it was, the imminent collapse of the system they’ve long submitted to sees this Last Supper grow increasingly disorderly. The ensemble cast, headed by Ganz is superb.