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Das Leben der Anderen
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The Lives of Others (2006) More at IMDbPro »Das Leben der Anderen (original title)

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The Lives of Others -- This Oscar(r)-winning thriller (Best Foreign Language Film, 2006) tells the erotic story of an East German couple whose every intimate moment is being monitored by the Secret Police hoping to learn information that could destroy their lives.


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8.5/10   226,693 votes »
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Release Date:
30 March 2007 (USA) See more »
Before the Fall of the Berlin Wall, East Germany's Secret Police Listened to Your Secrets See more »
In 1984 East Berlin, an agent of the secret police, conducting surveillance on a writer and his lover, finds himself becoming increasingly absorbed by their lives. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Won Oscar. Another 79 wins & 27 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Outstandingly great movie See more (392 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Martina Gedeck ... Christa-Maria Sieland

Ulrich Mühe ... Hauptmann Gerd Wiesler

Sebastian Koch ... Georg Dreyman

Ulrich Tukur ... Oberstleutnant Anton Grubitz
Thomas Thieme ... Minister Bruno Hempf
Hans-Uwe Bauer ... Paul Hauser
Volkmar Kleinert ... Albert Jerska
Matthias Brenner ... Karl Wallner
Charly Hübner ... Udo
Herbert Knaup ... Gregor Hessenstein
Bastian Trost ... Häftling 227
Marie Gruber ... Frau Meineke

Volker Michalowski ... Schriftexperte (as Zack Volker Michalowski)

Werner Daehn ... Einsatzleiter in Uniform
Martin Brambach ... Einsatzleiter Meyer
Hubertus Hartmann ... Egon Schwalber
Thomas Arnold ... Nowack
Hinnerk Schönemann ... Unterleutnant Axel Stigler
Paul Faßnacht ... Onkel Frank Hauser

Ludwig Blochberger ... Benedikt Lehmann
Paul Maximilian Schüller ... Junge mit Ball
Susanna Kraus ... Andrea
Gabi Fleming ... Prostituierte 'Ute'
Michael Gerber ... Zahnarzt Dr. Czimmy
Fabian von Klitzing ... Tagesschausprecher
Harald Polzin ... Wächter
Sheri Hagen ... 'Martha' 1991
Gitta Schweighöfer ... 'Anja' 1984
Elja-Dusa Kedves ... 'Anja' 1991
Hildegard Schroedter ... 'Elena' 1984
Inga Birkenfeld ... 'Elena' 1991 / BStU-Mitarbeiterin
Philipp Kewenig ... Christas Verhafter
Jens Wassermann ... 'Rolf' Andi Wenzke-Falkenau
Ernst-Ludwig Petrowsky ... Bandleader
Manfred Ludwig Sextett ... Band
Kai Ivo Baulitz ... Buchverkäufer
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ralf Ehrlich ... Kollege in der Stasi-Kantine (uncredited)

Anabelle Munro ... Theatre Actress (uncredited)

Klaus Münster ... Erich Mielke (voice) (uncredited)

Directed by
Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck 
Writing credits
Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck (written by)

Produced by
Quirin Berg .... producer
Claudia Gladziejewski .... co-producer: BR
Dirk Hamm .... co-producer
Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck .... co-producer
Monika Lobkowicz .... co-producer: BR - Arte
Andreas Schreitmüller .... co-producer: Arte
Max Wiedemann .... producer
Original Music by
Stéphane Moucha 
Gabriel Yared 
Cinematography by
Hagen Bogdanski 
Film Editing by
Patricia Rommel 
Casting by
Simone Bär 
Production Design by
Silke Buhr 
Art Direction by
Christiane Rothe 
Set Decoration by
Frank Noack 
Costume Design by
Gabriele Binder 
Makeup Department
Tamar Aviv .... assistant makeup artist: extras
Annett Schulze .... makeup artist
Sabine Schumann .... makeup artist
Production Management
Oliver Berger .... assistant set manager
Lisa Kolodzik .... unit production manager
Tom Sternitzke .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Claudia Beewen .... assistant director
Katharina Hofmann .... second assistant director
Art Department
Olaf Kronenthal .... standby props
Michael Roggemann .... draughtsman
Christian Sitta .... assistant production designer
Klaus Spielhagen .... film architect
Gonda Hinrichs .... construction coordinator (uncredited)
Sound Department
Eva Claudius .... adr editor
João Da Costa Pinto .... foley editor
Detlef Halaski .... adr mixer
Larry Hopkins .... layback sound mixer
Andrea Koschmieder .... dialogue editor
Jörn Poetzl .... foley artist
Hubertus Rath .... sound re-recording mixer
Oliver Schnug .... boom operator
Philipp Sellier .... foley recordist
Christoph von Schönburg .... sound designer
Christoph von Schönburg .... supervising sound editor
Arno Wilms .... production sound mixer
Special Effects by
Adrian Lorbert .... special effects
Hans Seck .... special effects
Visual Effects by
Maik Strauch .... color timer
Alister Mazzotti .... stunts
Camera and Electrical Department
Stefan Eckert .... lighting technician
Nicolay Gutscher .... assistant camera
Hagen Keller .... still photographer
Heiko Kohl .... best boy grip
Michael Koschorreck .... lighting technician
Ralph Leopold .... lighting technician
Holger Löhner .... lighting technician
Richard Nitsche .... lighting technician
Jürgen Ruge .... lighting technician
Michael Röska .... gaffer
Martin Sell .... lighting technician
Stephan Sommersberg .... key grip
Theresa von Eltz .... video operator
Florian Wentzel .... lighting technician
Casting Department
Marcel Dykiert .... extras casting assistant
Iris Müller .... extras casting
Kirstin Plotz .... casting assistant
Editorial Department
Julie Bargeton .... assistant editor
Sylvain Coutandin .... post-production assistant
Ute Lingner .... film lab manager
Stefan Müller .... managing director film lab
Gabriela Schultze .... sales manager film lab
Olivia Retzer .... assistant editor (uncredited)
Music Department
Jean-Pierre Arquié .... music consultant (as Jean-Pierre Arquie)
The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra .... orchestra
Jan Holzner .... music recording/mixing engineer
Adam Klemens .... conductor
Philipp F. Kölmel .... music recordist: pre-production
Other crew
Oliver Berger .... assistant set manager
Jan Bludau .... set runner
Thomas Duchnicki .... location scout
Erika Falk .... location scout
Kamil Friebel .... set runner
Christine Haupt .... production coordinator
Matthias Junge .... continuity
Matthias Junge .... script supervisor
Holger Köhler-Kaeß .... set runner
Peter Maasz .... location manager
Ana-Mona Müller-Schwerin .... location scout
Martin Pust .... set runner
Wolfgang Rhaden .... production accountant
Paul Rohlfs .... set runner
Eva Simonet .... press attaché: France
Sally Steele .... publicist
Nicole Wolfarth .... researcher
Martin Zillger .... location scout
Anabelle Munro .... double: Monica Gedeck (uncredited)
Erna Baumbauer .... special thanks
Sebastian Henckel-Donnersmarck .... special thanks
Kathrin Lohmann .... thanks
Jörg Stempel .... special thanks
Mahée Thorak .... grateful thanks

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Das Leben der Anderen" - Germany (original title)
See more »
Rated R for some sexuality/nudity
137 min
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

All the listening/recording props used in the film are actual Stasi equipment on loan from museums and collectors. The props master had himself spent two years in a Stasi prison and insisted upon absolute authenticity down to the machine used at the end of the film to steam-open up to 600 letters per hour.See more »
Revealing mistakes: At the end of the film, when Georg sits in his cab watching Wiesler delivering mail, right before the end of the scene two people with reflective vests are visible in the background. Presumably they are keeping bystanders from entering the shot.See more »
[first lines]
Guard:[subtitled version] Stand still. Eyes to the floor.
Guard:Walk on.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Champus-LiedSee more »


How much sex, violence, and profanity are in this movie?
This film won an Oscar and a BAFTA for foreign language film; which others have done this?
Is this movie based on a book?
See more »
266 out of 288 people found the following review useful.
Outstandingly great movie, 8 March 2007
Author: Brigid O Sullivan (wisewebwoman) from Toronto, Canada

I wonder why there has been so little written and publicized about this movie. This should be seen in every country and its merits trumpeted from the skies.

It starts off slowly and the locale is the former East Germany, inhabited by 16 million people who are being spied upon relentlessly by their secret police. In this very real world of the Berlin Wall, there are many Stasi, 90,000, overseeing the populace, aided and abetted by hundreds of thousands of informants. Many of these snitches were blackmailed or other pressures exerted (threats to children and loved ones) and a few obliged voluntarily.

What is truly amazing is that this is Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck's directorial debut, and he maintains a masterful hand throughout and keeps the story and the tension rolling from the first scene of interrogation which is filmed back and forth between a tape educating new Stasi as to interview techniques and to the actual cell itself where it was recorded.

The movie circles around three main characters and there is a wider circle of the powerful who pull the puppet strings for a variety of reasons which become clear as the movie unfolds.

First is Georg Dreyman, a playwright on the verge of celebrating his 40th birthday. Sebastian Koch, a tall,handsome actor dressed in writerly rumple, shares an apartment with his actress girlfriend, Christa-Maria Sieland (Martina Gedeck), and exists within the strictures of the state-sponsored theatre. He is a decent man, and tries to win support for his blacklisted friends.

For reasons that become quite clear, Dreyman falls under suspicion and the whole sophisticated Stasi spying system comes into play in the era of 1984. His whole apartment is bugged and every sound is monitored.

The man in charge of all this is Captain Gerd Wiesler,(Ulrich Mühe). Ulrich's performance is nothing short of stunning. He starts as an almost robotic presence, dressed in gray, he almost disappears into every scene he's in. But one detects a clear intelligence in his bright eyes, the only part of him that's alive. Captain Wiesler lives in a non-descript arborited apartment, much like himself. He squeezes his food onto a plate from a tube.

But the captain starts to awaken slowly as he listens surreptitiously on the state of the art equipment secreted in the attic of Dreyman's building. He starts to fall in love with the couple and then pressure from above is brought to bear on him to dig for the dirt in Dreyman's life.

And he is in a dilemma now, as he is drawn further and further into the life of Dreman and his girlfriend.

I won't throw spoilers down. Suffice to say is that the story is enthralling right down to the very last frame. The acting is superb, the direction impeccable and the world of East Germany meticulously drawn with the viewer respected enough to find his or her own emotional path through the plot.

The ending is truly one of a kind. So right and true that I was left nodding, it was the only one possible.

A must see, I will sing the praises of this film to all I know. 10 out of 10 from me. Right up there in my top 50 of all time. I find it so disappointing that these movies don't get wider release AND compete for an Oscar in the best picture of the year and not just for best foreign film. Now there's a heretical thought!

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See more (392 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for The Lives of Others (2006)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Loved the characters,but very badly written film monika-36
complete copy of '1984' by george orwell baesuk81
Last Scene-Question? bumworkinsw
Is this happening in China as well? lisa_lee44
the red thumb print mk1319
What was Weisler eating duderunner
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