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The Lives of Others
Year:
2006
Country:
Germany
Genre:
Drama, Thriller
IMDB rating:
8.4
Director:
Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck
Martina Gedeck as Christa-Maria Sieland
Ulrich Mühe as Hauptmann Gerd Wiesler
Sebastian Koch as Georg Dreyman
Ulrich Tukur as Oberstleutnant Anton Grubitz
Thomas Thieme as Minister Bruno Hempf
Hans-Uwe Bauer as Paul Hauser
Volkmar Kleinert as Albert Jerska
Matthias Brenner as Karl Wallner
Herbert Knaup as Gregor Hessenstein
Bastian Trost as Häftling 227
Marie Gruber as Frau Meineke
Volker Michalowski as Schriftexperte (as Zack Volker Michalowski)
Werner Daehn as Einsatzleiter in Uniform
Storyline: In the early 1980s, Georg Dreyman (a successful dramatist) and his longtime companion Christa-Maria Sieland (a popular actress), were huge intellectual stars in (former) East Germany, although they secretly don't always toe the party line. One day, the Minister of Culture becomes interested in Christa, so the secret service agent Wiesler is instructed to observe and sound out the couple, but their life fascinates him more and more.
Type Resolution File Size Codec Bitrate Format
HQ DVD-rip 720x432 px 1853 Mb 1963 Kbps mp4 Download
iPhone 640x270 px 1539 Mb h264 1562 Kbps mp4 Download
Reviews
Truth is stranger than fiction
Can you imagine a world where people are continuously spied on, where the police set up surveillance equipment in the attics, where even typewriters are registered and, in spite of this,a world accepting of refugees? I am not talking about science fiction. I am talking about real life, the real events that took place in East Germany before the Fall of the Wall.While I was watching 'The lives of others'I couldn't help comparing it to another film, 'Good Bye, Lenin'; both are widely applauded approaches to the recent history of East Germany. But I think one of them is definitely superior to the other; read on if you'd like to know which.Both films are German and were released more or less at the same time -around 2005- and they share factual accuracy and the atmosphere of that historical period, although the first one takes place mainly in the years before the Fall of the Wall and the second, in the years immediately after. Both films have a lot in common, such as an appealing theme, plausible dialogues, lots of moving scenes and convincing acting. In spite of sharing a common theme, they have different approaches, since 'The lives of others' shows the story of a playwright who is being spied on by 'the Party'. What is a cold relationship at the beginning of the story turns into sympathy, what seems love turns into treason, what should have been informing on somebody turns into respect and admiration. On the other hand, 'Good bye, Lenin!'is very innovative mainly because it has a large dose of comedy, which is remarkably powerful. When his mother suffers a heart attack and awakes from a coma seriously weakened, Alex, the main character has to pretend that nothing has changed, that East Berlin is the same as it was before the Fall of the Wall, because a great shock like that could cause her death, so there he goes doing the impossible to keep the 'status quo'. This situation leads to entertaining scenes and appealing dialogue. In addition, both films were recorded on set and on location -we can enjoy watching what Karl Marx Allee looked like almost thirty years ago.However, although both films portray our recent history very convincingly, I strongly recommend 'Good bye, Lenin!'because it is funny, moving and grabs your attention from the very first moment. And it can also make you think!
2015-06-09
A Monumental Triumph!
The acclaimed German-speaking film, The Lives of Others is a well-written, addicting thriller that talks about a time in very modern history that not many movies have covered. This film covers Eastern Berlin in the 1980's, just before the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Unlike many thrillers, this film doesn't rely on drawn-out car chases or bloody gun battles, but more so on tense character development and I welt so moved by the film, I literally thought there would be members of the Stasi creeping up behind me while watching the film.

Florian Donnersmark's film, which was awarded an Oscar for best foreign film, is about a member of the secret police named Captain Wiesler who listens into people he believes to be enemies. But when he is assigned to listen to the famous and beloved playwright, Georg Dreyman, his life is about to take on a big change.

This film is great in part to the wonderful acting. The late Ulrich Muhe does a wonderful job as Captain Wiesler and all his scenes were just perfection. In fact, the final scene he is in should be enough to move you to tears. Sebastian Koch does a great job as Georg Dreyman, a playwright who is also bent on escaping over the Wall.

Overall, The Lives of Others is a very well-made thriller that will teach you about the lifestyle of people back then and how the citizens had to live in fear. There are no car chases here, but there is an actual story that is worth checking out. These kind of slow-burners are the best thrillers of them all and this made for an engaging thriller. Despite being spoken in German, I think Americans should watch this film. I rate this film 9/10.
2014-09-12
It's for me ...
People, who will choose this movie, should be aware that it is quite real and would provoke quite different feeling, because in my opinion, it is not for ones, who didn't care about the history or actually stand on the opposite benches of some political river. First of all, the movie is not about freedom, but about choices and transitions. It is a very seldom example of hailing and in the same time terrifying the human and not ideas or systems. Simply it is about the Good man and about bad Stasi or DDR. Actually, there is no any innocent in the movie and it's the most absolute recognition that innocent, being not there, being illusion, finally appears in our changing and transitioning, recognizing the value of the others, experiencing their falling down, accelerated by believes, passions and fools and of course viewing yourself through this lens. I strongly believe that the beauty of the is movie is that actually went beyond the script (non intentionally). The play of the actors is breathtaking and will recommend to listen the movie in original (if you can) than the last phrase is so German and dubious...
2013-06-16
Brilliant movie
Germany has produced some very good movies recently ... but this one is in a class of its own. The main power of a quality movie, for me, has always been two things, a good story and mood - and this film has both. The story keeps you interested through all 139 minutes. You actually feel yourself transported to the 1980s of the former German republic. They have carefully chosen locations that looks east-germanish ... lots of "Trabant" cars on the streets :-) and the general grayish mood is very well recreated. The ordinary peoples fear of the Stasi is realistically portrayed. And i just love the twist in the story in the last 20 minutes or so. A brilliant movie that anyone even remotely interested in non-mainstream movies should see.
2006-10-19
I didn't fall for them.....
Memories of the 70's and 80's visits in the German Democratic Republic (GDR) flood my mind while watching this film. Some are revolting, some comical and others are frightening. As a student of German, I visited the GDR several times to see pen pal friends. I remember one friend looking around and whispering to me in the S-Bahn - just in case one of the many "IM's" (unofficial workers of the Stasi) was listening in.

I visited a representative of a magazine for western countries about the GDR and spent one memorable weekend sightseeing with her. Near the end of my visit, she asked me if I would work for them regularly by writing my opinion of "GDR Review" and its suitability for readers in the West. I would be paid in GDR money to use during further visits. After politely refusing this "offer" ("The police at home might not like it!"), I always had a sneaking suspicion that that was an attempt by the Stasi to recruit me.

Years later I applied to see my "Stasi File". I will never forget the feeling deep inside me when I read in it: ".….is not suitable for our use due to his apparent connection to the police in his homeland." The beautiful, friendly lady in Dresden had been a Stasi informer all the time! All of my visits to the GDR and the people I visited were listed in that file. For me "The Lives of Others" is an authentic representation of that totalitarian state. I am glad that those times have ended.

Congratulations on a well deserved Oscar!
2007-02-25
"Sonate vom guten Menschen" also made this reviewer dewy-eyed!
A deserving Oscar winner if ever there was one, though I was never one to pay special attention to the Oscars, I was almost shocked by how perfect this debut movie by a 34-year-old director very nearly was. Set in East Berlin in the mid-80s, some five years before the infamous Wall crumbled, it follows the STASI as they plot to find incriminating evidence against playwright Georg Dreyman, who'd been the regime's darling until a ruthless minister frivolously develops a lecherous desire to possess his girlfriend, renowned stage actress Christa-Maria Sieland. Though both Sebastian Koch (last seen by me as the Nazi Captain Müntze in Verhoeven's Black Book) and Martina Gedeck are excellent as the central couple trapped within the STASI's web of eavesdropping and paranoia tactics, the real hero and star of the movie is without a doubt Ulrich Mühe. I had last seen in Michael Haneke's Funny Games, where he played Georg, the unfortunate husband and dad who comes to a sticky end. In The Lives of Others, Mühe memorably fills the shoes of the STASI agent Gerd Wiesler who listened to Dreyman's daily life through the bugs in his flat. Balding, physically non-descript Wiesler conveys more with one subtle shift of an eyeball than the whole stellar cast of an Oliver Stone movie. This actor is so charismatic, he blows even the undeniably talented and handsome Sebastian Koch clear off the screen. In this movie not only are things seldom what they seem, but humanity and redemption can be found in the most ridiculously unexpected places.

Shocking, humane and moving yet never predictable, heavy-handed or melodramatic, the movie is also blessed by a solid script, a very plausible storyline free of plot holes and an immaculately researched scenario. I've read that both the movie's director and Mühe remember their experiences living in the Communist regime. Though the former was still very young, he claims to clearly remember the climate of paranoia he grew up in, while Mühe later discovered that he had been spied upon by his own wife! Oddly enough, one accusation levelled against the movie by some IMDb reviewers is that of misogyny. Being normally very sensitive to a discriminatory portrayal of women, I was very baffled by this. I've come to the conclusion that some touchy viewers expect their movie characters – especially those of women or ethnic minorities – to be paragons of virtue or role models, rather than simply human beings with flaws and plausible weaknesses. In my view Christa-Maria's main sin was not to be "weak", as some other viewers here claim, but simply "human". If anything, the movie also provided a damning portrait of the brutality of the regime against women.

Perhaps my only, very minor complaint with the movie was its ending, which felt a tad rushed - though it was a beautiful ending all the same - uplifting and sad, poetic and yet also grounded in the starkest reality.
2007-05-04
Lives of others to life for others
I am not so good at writing.But for this movie i felt like writing something good about it.And i tried to recollect the name of it after watching the one struck me is "life for others".I think that tells the story.I liked the characters dimensions which were dynamic through out the movie.The book which is shown in the end is really out somewhere,i hope i would read that.

And i really thank IMDb for giving such gem of a movies as suggestions.And i confess that i watched this movie through online without paying.Will get a original DVD soon from stores.

Danke Deutschen
2013-12-05
Wow!
This is a great movie you're not gonna miss. When I finished watching it, I even didn't know what to do. The HGW XX/7 has a real dignity and the way he turns and separates his way from meanness to heroism is unspeakable. He doesn't talk too much and never gets to talk to Dreyman. The soundtracks are really fit into the sequences and the movie gives you the feeling of being ruled by dictatorship.

It is also thoroughly instructive how Georg Dreyman treats his wife when he finds out about her compulsory affairs with the minister. That's the right way to handle these events in life.

It deserves to win the Oscar and even a better award if existed!
2012-03-17
A German Expat Feels his first pang of forlorn German patriotism
This film utterly blew me away. Full disclosure: I'm a German born (Munich born) German-American who left Germany in 1986, before the wall came down. I cannot describe the feeling I felt as the last few words were spoken on the screen. I could not look at the subtitles ( a habit of speaking two languages ) because my eyes were so full of tears. I cannot tell you how I was so sorry I did not experience the wall coming down. This film healed a wound that may have been left by the nightmare years of 1938-1945, my own great uncle being a Nazi war criminal, convicted in Nuremberg in 1946. Yes, we are mensch too. We have the potential for greatness (of character) in spite of our history. Thank you Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, for giving me back half of my lost soul in this single "es ist für mich". I am reminded again that the difference between ourselves and beasts is that we have a choice.
2007-10-16
A Masterwork Of Pristine Quality That Deserves A Broader Audience!
Winner of Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, The Lives of Others has a very serene ambiance 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 with their lives.

Written & directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, The Lives of Others is crafted in an incredibly calm n composed manner, and presents the filmmaker in firm grip of the story he attempts to bring to life on the film canvas, which sounds even more astonishing when noted that it is his directional debut. And the proper execution of other aspects only work out in its favour.

Set pieces & locations do evoke an authentic-looking atmosphere of East Germany. The camera-work is carefully employed as the movements are static for the most part, use of lighting & colour tones is skilfully done, and the drama is captured in fine detail. Editing unfolds its 137 minutes of runtime at a very relaxed pace, and the performances by its entire cast is simply outstanding.

On an overall scale, The Lives of Others is an engaging drama that manages to create & sustain its tension amazingly well, gets better as the plot progresses, and concludes its tale in a very satisfying manner. The script is definitely its biggest strength and rest of the stuff is wonderfully handled too but its glacial pace & quietness did bother me at times. Not as rewarding as I expected it to be but definitely a work of pristine quality that deserves a broader audience.
2015-08-09
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