HGW: You are a great artist. Don't you know that?
CMS: And you are a good man.
It has become quite common in this, the age of the anti-hero, for stories to skillfully depict a good man's descent into evil. We start with a basically good guy who's tested with a terrible choice or some situation that demands that he surrender his morals or pay the consequences. And the morals never stand a chance.
It's much less common in these post-Sopranos days to see the opposite occur. For a bad guy to have his belief system tested - for a character who we expect to continue doing immoral things to actually begin questioning his own morality.
The Lives of Others turns the age of the anti-hero on its head in an incredibly moving and heartfelt story that almost made me forget about the subtitles. Well worth your time.