Gerd Wiesler is an officer with the Stasi, the East German secret police. The film begins in 1984 when Wiesler attends a play written by Georg Dreyman, who is considered by many to be the ultimate example of the loyal citizen. Wiesler has a gut feeling that Dreyman can't be as ideal as he seems, and believes surveillance is called for. The Minister of Culture agrees but only later does Wiesler learn that the Minister sees Dreyman as a rival and lusts after his partner Christa-Maria. The more time he spends listening in on them, the more he comes to care about them. The once rigid Stasi officer begins to intervene in their lives, in a positive way, protecting them whenever possible. Eventually, Wiesler's activities catch up to him and while there is no proof of wrongdoing, he finds himself in menial jobs - until the unbelievable happens.Written by
When the Stasi raid Dreyman's flat, an agent comments on how much "Western literature" he owns. The book in the agent's hand is a German edition of "The First Circle," by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, a Soviet author who openly criticized the USSR, and was ultimately exiled. See more »
In the first scene in the theater, a program clearly states the birthdate of Georg as 1939, but just a few scenes later he says he is preparing for his 40th birthday. As the action is said to take place in 1984, there is a five-year discrepancy. [Possibility: Georg says that he is 40 in an attempt to shake off the impression that he might be 50. Hence, he could very well be 45. That age would also be the same as that of the actor who plays him] See more »
Stand still. Eyes to the floor.
See more »
The US version features a written prologue in English, explaining the historical context of the film. See more »
Holy cow! What a terrific movie! I am a voting member of the Academy (actor's branch) so I get all the films for free. I've seen everything---60 films. This was one of the last 3 films that I saw---because I was completely unfamiliar with the title. This film slowly gripped me, but by the end, the grip was merciless. The lead actor, who should be doing The Life Story Of Peter Jennings, was wonderful. Everybody was terrific. Congratulations to the writers for their perfect structure---and to the director for his flawless storytelling---and his eliciting of top performances from his actors. How well cast it was.
But now I'm totally bewildered. Why haven't I heard anything about this film? Where was this film at the Golden Globes? I haven't even seen any reviews about it. Nothing! What's going on? I'm very active in the film business. I follow this stuff. This film (that I never heard of) took me by surprise as no other film has ever done.
Note to the IMDb: This is not a spoiler.
Jesse Vint III
735 of 887 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this