...engaging and discerning culture, as a way of life...

March 15, 2007

The Lives of Others - 7

This is a very intriguing film. Set 5 years before the fall of the Berlin wall in East Germany, Stasi agent Hauptmann Gerd Wiesler (Ulrich Mühe), gets caught up in the surveillance of a couple, Georg (Sebastian Koch) and Christa-Maria (Martina Gedeck), who are part of the artist community as a playwright and actress. Wiesler's curiosity leads him to suspect them of being subversive to the government, and he heads up the surveillance. As Wiesler gets more and more intimate with the couple through listening and following their lives, he sees the struggles and oppression that they are under, and his own role in that struggle. His compassion soon leads him to be subversive of his own job. Writer/director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck wonderfully develops these characters in intricate and detailed ways that draw the viewer into the drama. Through listening and seeing a loving relationship, Wiesler discovers his own humanity and the greater world that he is apart of. A great film, worthy of its Best Foreign Language Film Oscar.

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