Sunday, May 6, 2012

THE LIVES OF OTHERS (2006)

Set in 1984, THE LIVES OF OTHERS tells the compelling story of a German Democratic Republic Staatssicherheit (Stasi) officer Gerd Wiesler. He's in charge of secret surveillance on a popular playwright, Georg Dreyman, who might be harboring anti-GDR feelings. Wiesler cannot find anything wrong with Dreyman. Wiesler soon discovers the real reason for the surveillance is one of the high officials has the hots for Dreyman's girlfriend and wants Dreyman out of the picture. Wiesler's been in the secret police business for a long time, but even so (or maybe because so) he still has a small spark of humanity left inside of him.

I really enjoyed THE LIVES OF OTHERS and after watching it I'm anxious to read some books about the subject. I found the whole idea interesting, but I was really intriguing that the GDR officials, even though they were doing something as highly unethical as bugging a person's home, still felt it important that they actually get concrete proof the person is guilty of whatever it is they're accused you of. Why even put on the charade? Another thing I found interesting was after the Stasi raid Dreyman's home and wreck the joint (tossing over furniture, cutting open sofa cushions) they left him a card to report any damaged stuff! What's the point of that?!

I kinda went off subject, so I'll just conclude by saying TLOO is excellent and you should watch it. The subject is fascinating, the filming locations look really authentic and the acting by everyone is perfect. It's easy to see why it won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 2007. Hell, in my opinion, it's even better than THE DEPARTED which actually won Best Picture that year.