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The Lives of Others (2006)

The Lives of Others (2006)

The 2006 winner of seven German Film Awards wowed viewers worldwide with an authentic look at East Germany's sinister secret police Stasi

6.9

Movie

France, Germany
German
Drama, Thriller
2006
FLORIAN HENCKEL VON DONNERSMARCK
Anabelle D. Munro, Bastian Trost, Charly Hubner
137 min

What it's about

In 1984 East Berlin, an agent of the secret police, conducting surveillance on a writer and his lover, finds himself becoming increasingly absorbed by their lives.

The take

The late German actor Ulrich Mühe plays Gerd Wiesler, a merciless Stasi officer who has doubts about the loyalty of a famous playwright (Sebastian Koch) and his wife Christa-Maria (Martina Gedeck) to the communist party. To say he spies on the artist couple is an understatement: in true Stasi fashion, he watches them day and night, listens in on their conservations, reads their mail, and watches them have sex. However, it turns out this was a tad too close, because Wiesler becomes increasingly absorbed in them and is forced to question his obedience as a Stasi officer. In his feature film debut, German director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck delivers a quietly chilling melodrama on a topic that still affects the lives of many East Germans and was deserving of more attention. It is also a telling piece on the inhumane nature of totalitarianism and the humanity of individuals that are forced to live with it. A special film that will stay with you for a long time.

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