Our latest movie rental is the 2007 Academy Award winner for Best Foreign Film, The Lives of Others. The story begins in 1984, before the fall of the Berlin Wall. During this period, the Stasi, GDR's secret police, closely monitored the cultural scene, repressing all dissent.
Capt. Gerd Wiesler is a dedicated Stasi agent who has been ordered to spy on playwright Georg Dreyman. However, during his surveillance sessions, Wiesler discovers the truth about why he is spying on Dreyman: Minister Hempf is attempting to blackmail Dreyman's girlfriend, actress Christa-Maria Sieland, into sleeping with him. This knowledge destroys Wiesler's motivation to find out anything about Dreyman. Furthermore, Wiesler becomes increasingly sympathetic with Sieland and disillusioned with his party. Dreyman does not learn until sometime after the fall of the Berlin Wall how much Wiesler did for him. It's a touching story that comes out of a grim and scary time.
It is too bad that a lot of people in this country do not rent foreign films because they object to "reading" a movie. I honestly forgot that I was reading subtitles. This film is engrossing and the dialog is realistic, intelligent, and not hard to follow. It is also an important topic, as this kind of repression can happen anywhere at anytime a government agency decides to monitor the lives of others.
Obviously, I recommend this film!
Martina Gedeck~ Christa-Maria Sieland
Ulrich Muehe ~Capt Gerd Wiesler
Sebastian Koch~ Georg Dreyman
Ulrich Tukur Lt~Col Anton Grubitz
Thomas Thieme ~Minister Bruno Hempf
Hans-Uwe Bauer~ Paul Hauser
Herbert Knaup ~Gregor Hessenstein
Volkmar Kleinert~ Albert Jerski
Matthias Brenner ~Karl Wallner
Charly Huebner~ Udo
Director & Screenwriter:
Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck
Reviews over at Rotten Tomatoes. That's a great website.