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
Before German reunification, East German flags and coats of arms were displayed all over, in public places and institutions. The flag does not appear in the movie. The coat of arms appears once; an artistic representation, with a noose over it, on the cover of Der Spiegel. See more »
When Christa sees where the typewriter is hidden, we see Dreyman hiding it and the papers with it. When she comes in and goes away, he puts the papers again in the hiding spot. See more »
Stand still. Eyes to the floor.
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The US version features a written prologue in English, explaining the historical context of the film. See more »
I've been taking German lessons for about 2 months now, and since movies were great in helping me learn English language I'm always looking for German films to watch (as well as German music to listen to) in order to educate my ears.
Anyway, I went to this place where I get all sort of rare movies and this one caught my attention... and I had no idea it got the Oscar for foreign language film this year! So I watched it without prejudice and... what did I find? A MASTERPIECE! This is the kind of movie that gets your attention from the first moment, and makes you interested in understanding the characters' psyche, which is very varied: you have the idealistic good guys, the idealistic bad guys, the people that broad their minds understanding that no political dogma is better than individual freedom, etc. And even though the movie has very tough moments it is all so well done and presented with such a good taste that in the end you feel some sort of relieved.
In this present day, when the ghost of authoritarian regimes still fly over our heads (in my country we're getting closer and closer to that reality), this movie will make you think about how important love, life and freedom are.
A must see!
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