Sunday, May 13, 2007

Das Leben Der Anderen

This weekend, I went to Rehoboth for a little R&R and some early birthday celebrating. It's always nice to get away from D.C. for a few days and enjoy the sound of the ocean.

While I was in Delaware, I went to the multiplex in town and saw this year's Oscar winner for Best Foreign Film, Das Leben Der Anderen (The Lives of Others.)

Set in the former German Democratic Republic, it follows the work of Gerd Wiesler, a Stasi (State Secret Police) agent, and his survellience of a renowned playwright and his actress girlfriend. Wiesler finds himself compelled to watch them for reasons he soon realizes are fabricated and wrong. The result is an otherwise cold and methodical agent who suddenly develops a streak of morality and risks his career to protect people he is sworn to destroy.

The movie is a bit on the long side and can seem like it's never going to end. But, be patient. What you will discover is a cinematic jem and a morality tale that ends perfectly. This is a film that will stay with you for a long time. If you see no other foreign film this year, at least see this one. It is brilliant! Or, as we say in German, "Ausgezeichnet!"


hm-UK said...

Happiest Birthday Wishes!!

I will have to dig up the Guardian article from its weekend magazine, written a few months ago. It has a fascinating article about the Stasi and all of the files they kept on ordinary citizens of former DDR. Apparently, there was something like 1 Stasi agent/informant for every 50 citizens. J's got some fascinating stories about visiting East Berlin just before and just after the wall came down.

Janet M Kincaid said...

HM: I'd love to read that article!

And thank you for the birthday wishes! xo