Liegen lernen

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Learning to Lie
Original title:Liegen lernen
Directed by Hendrik Handloegten
Produced by Maria Köpf
Written by Hendrik Handloegten
Frank Goosen
Starring Fabian Busch
Susanne Bormann
Fritzi Haberlandt
Birgit Minichmayr
Florian Lukas
Distributed by X-film Corp.
Release dates
  • 2003 (2003)
Running time
87 min.
Language German

Liegen lernen (English: Learning to lie (the physical action)) is a German film released in 2003. It is based on the novel of Frank Goosen from the year 2000.


Beginning in West Germany in 1982, 18-year-old school boy Helmut falls in love with fellow pupil Britta. He starts working for a Peace movement to get to know Britta. Britta, however, suddenly moves to San Francisco to live with her father and whilst there, finds a new boyfriend. Helmut studies literature and politics in his home town and has a relationship with another girl from his former school, now studying medicine on the same university but they break up after having an affair with her room mate. Helmut begins a lot of short affairs with different women but still searches for his first girl.

Years later, in 1989, the Berlin wall falls and the Cold war ends. Helmut is lying in his girlfriend's bed when his old school friend Mücke calls him, who saw Britta in Berlin. Helmut hurries to Berlin and finds Britta, but she has changed and has become arrogant. Mücke tells him afterwards that he had an affair with Britta and that Britta has had a lot of affairs. Worried by this, Helmut begins a lot of new affairs and his parents get divorced at that time. In 1998, Helmut settles down with a girl who wants a baby with him, but Helmut travels one more time to Berlin to meet Britta for one last time.

The novel[edit]

The film is based on the novel Liegen lernen by Frank Goosen from the year 2000. While the novel takes place in Bochum, the film was set in Düsseldorf. The novel has a lot of biographical moments from Goosen, but the story is typical for a West German youth in the 1980s. The novel became very popular through the great '80s revival in western Germany around the year 2000.



  • Direction: Hendrik Handloegten
  • Script: Frank Goosen and Hendrik Handloegten
  • Production: Maria Köpf
  • Music: Dieter Schleip
  • Camera: Florian Hoffmeister
  • Editing: Elena Bromund

External links[edit]