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A tragic love story set in East Berlin with the backdrop of an undercover Stasi controlled culture. Stasi captain Wieler is ordered to follow author Dreyman and plunges deeper and deeper into his life until he reaches the threshold of doubting the system.
Remake idea: The Lives of Otters. Same film but the cast are otters.
"An innocent prisoner will become more angry by the hour due to the injustice suffered. He will shout and rage. A guilty prisoner becomes more calm and quiet. Or he cries. He knows he's there for a reason. The best way to establish guilt or innocence is non-stop interrogation."
The 2007 winner of the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film is the German thriller The Lives of Others directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck. The film follows the professional and private life of Gerd Wiesler an agent for the East German security service, who becomes too involved with his subjects during a surveillance operation. His mission is eventually complicated because of his obsession with the subject's lives, which leads him…
Whilst watching this film I cannot get around the incredible display of film-making skills on display here. Everything is handled with such attention to detail and respect it is simply awe inspiring.
Now it is too easy to attribute this to the Deutsche Gründlichkeit (the German knack for detail and thoroughness), so I won't and I'll say that the strength here stems from respect. Respect for a troubled period in a nation's history.
It is a no-holds barred account of a time where art, freedom and individuality were seen as criminal. And within this all we see the change of one man, a man who listens, spies and judges. The life he has and the life he eventually wants are…
Damn, what a way to start this challenge.
The Lives of Others is a slow burn political thriller/drama that takes place in Germany during the time of the Berlin Wall. A country was divided by harsh political ideals and strictly governed people. Inside the highly restricted East Germany we are introduced to a playwright and his starlet girlfriend. The man and woman are the artistic and intellectual type. They are loyal communists but they begin to question the growing hostility of the government and they start to show that they might not fully agree with the system they are a part of. They question their system yet…
When this film first came out, I was in a long distance relationship and we decided to see showings of it at the same time in our separate cities as a "movie date" and call each other after to talk. I hated the film so much, I walked out after 40 minutes and patiently waited another two before calling. When I did, my girlfriend answered the phone sobbing, having been completely emotionally shattered by it. In fact, she had decided at some point during the runtime that she would move back to LA to be with me because love is the most important thing in this dark, cold world. That is, until she heard my opinion and the…
Winner of Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, The Lives of Others has a very serene ambience when compared to other entries in the spy genre which are usually filled with chases, action or violence for this German drama tries to paint an authentic portrait of life in East Germany and is a silent observation of human nature.
Set in 1980s East Germany, the story of The Lives of Others (also known as Das Leben der Anderen) focuses on the monitoring of East Berlin by agents of the Stasi; the secret police, and concerns an agent who's tasked to conduct a surveillance on a writer & his lover, but over the course of his duty ends up becoming too infatuated…
looking forward to the american remake, maybe set in the financial market, with many guns
Ulrich Muhe and Sebastian Koch are fantastic in this film. And Martina Gedeck is a very close third. I loved the performances, the story was compelling and tense, and the ending was exactly suitable. For a 130 minute film to have its two leads never interact is incredible. Registering Dreyman's scenes from his perspective and then also noting that Wiesler is perceiving the exact same thing in a completely different context is a constant mental struggle. Yet, the film balances all of this wonderfully.
I'm not sure why I like this film but it's jut one of those films that pulls you in and makes you wonder what will happen to the characters in the end. It is very captivating and I think this is a film that shows what a challenge it is to hold firm to a believe that is important to your country but is oppressive in nature.
Being good - that is the ultimate task for human. It cannot be dictated by the society, it is dictated by the moral. Some of us would probably like to believe that it is dictated by God but here's a film that despite its darkness, truly believes in humanity and humans - in us, not in chances. We need such films every now and then.
A compelling and utterly absorbing drama, directed with calm finesse and an assured hand (especially so, considering this is the director's debut film). Top tier in all aspects. Great movie.
The films main character perfectly encapsulates the entire spirit of the film. He is deliberate, calculated and stoic. This film isn't concerned with flashy showpieces or actions, but simply telling the enthralling story at hand. The tension created throughout the film is ever-present and while the East/West Germany dilemma isn't focused on, it's dreary presence exudes throughout the whole movie.
After such maticulation telling one simple story through the first 2 hours of the film, it is a little jarring to have the final 15 minutes jump over years at time to end the story. That is redeemed in the final shot and sequence. It is nice to have such a dark, dreary and depressing film, have an incredibly positive perspective on what people are capable.
#4 Top 10 of 2006
Soundtracks of contemporary german cinema always make me sad in completely the wrong way. With less of the symphonic butter on top this would be a masterpiece.
Slowly comes into its own and finishes with a really great ending. It's also a really fascinating look at Germany during the time of the Berlin Wall and the level of espionage there was at the time.
Never before have a I seen a film so uplifting, yet so depressing at the same time
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