Sonnenallee (Sun Avenue or Sun Alley) is a 1999 comedy film about life in East Berlin the late 1970s. The movie was directed by Leander Haußmann and it was released shortly before the corresponding novel, Am kürzeren Ende der Sonnenalle (At the Shorter End of Sonnenallee). Both the book and the screenplay were written by Thomas Brussig and while they are based on the same characters and setting, differ in storyline significantly. Both the movie and the book emphasize the importance of pop-art and in particular, pop music, for the youth of East Berlin. The Sonnenalle is an actual street in Berlin that was intersected by the border between East and West during the time of the Berlin wall, although it bears little resemblance to the film set. The film was considered by many to be a glorification of the GDR (German Democratic Republic) and was seen to be playing down certain aspects of life in the GDR. As a result, some reviews such as those in Der Spiegel criticised the movie. Many saw this criticism as far disproportionate and the film was well received by the majority of the viewers.