Berlin, Germany …. [Julio C. Muñoz/ANN]

Christoph Silber is a rising star in German cinema. The screenwriter is a devout Seventh-day Adventist who’s most recent project, “Goodbye Lenin,” won six top prizes at the European film awards in Berlin earlier this month.

“Good Bye Lenin” tells the story of an East German woman who falls into a coma in October 1989. It’s not the best of times for the woman who is an activist for social progress and improvement in socialist Germany.

Her son Alex finds himself in a bind when she awakens eight months later. Her heart is so weak that the shock of discovering that socialism has fallen along with the Berlin wall could kill her. The solution? Keep the woman under the impression that nothing has changed, even though everything actually has.

“Goodbye Lenin” has been an astounding success, not only in Germany, but throughout Europe. The film will also be released theatrically in the United States.

Silber joined the project near the end of pre-production and tried to strengthen one of the film’s most important messages. He says the film is primarily about reconciliation, not just for Germany, but for the family.

“It is basically the story of a broken family,” says Silber, “and this boy finds out that he needs peace. He wants to make peace in his own life and also he has to make peace for his family which was split pretty early because of history.”

The themes of family unity are special to Silber who says his most important role is that of father and husband. Silber says being a Christian in the film industry is not difficult.

“For me it works very well because I know that I’m always a Christian. I can’t take off my Christian coat and put on my film writer coat,” says Silber. “So I just go with God as much as I can. Sometimes I fail, of course, but my ideal in life is to follow God and to walk with him in everything I do.”

He is very active in his Berlin church and says he draws strength from it. Silber sees his mission as reaching to millions of people through his art–writing for movies.

“I think there is a great chance to reach people who are in positions of power, who have voices in society, and you can reach those people, you can touch those people and open their eyes about things they are closed off about. And that’s something I think I have a great chance of doing.”

Silber says that all filmmakers, not just Christians, have a tremendous responsibility.

“I feel filmmakers have a responsibility to tell the world the truth, as it is, but to also show that the world could be different, that we could love one another more, that we could make peace in a time when people make war and that we do not have to be what other people make us.”

Copyright © 2003 Adventist News Network.

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