Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Lives of Others - Film

This is the first German film I have watched. There is something about subtitles that puts me off, my eyes are very bad and I find reading in cinemas gives me a headache. I am getting better though and I just arm myself with painkillers beforehand just in case of emergency!

Anyway getting back to the film. It followed a member of the Stasi in East Germany during the time that the Berlin Wall was still in place. They were the secret police and spied on people to check that they were supporting their governing system (much like in the famous "1984"). He is charged with observing a play-write because a minister is in love with his girlfriend. As time passes, he becomes more and more involved in their lives without their knowing. The decision comes down to him secretly helping the couple evade the Stasi, or giving them up and furthuring his career.

This was an excellent film. Beautiful, intelligent and horrifying by turns, it seemed like "1984" had been brought to life. I can see why it won an Oscar. Ulrich Muhe was brilliant as Stasi spy Hauptmann Gerd Wiesler with Martina Gedeck (Christa-Maria Sieland) and Sebastian Koch (Georg Dreyman) giving excellent performances as well.

****1/2 out of 5.


Imani said...

I've heard so much about this movie that I really should see it some day. Maybe it would be easier for you to see sub-titled films at home than in theatre? It's such a shame that you miss out on so many because of your eyes. (But I'm a foreign film nut so I'd think so. Also, I wear glasses. ;))