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The Lives of Others (2006)

Das Leben der Anderen (original title)
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.
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Top Rated Movies #58 | Won 1 Oscar. Another 75 wins & 34 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Christa-Maria Sieland
... Hauptmann Gerd Wiesler
... Georg Dreyman
... Oberstleutnant Anton Grubitz
Thomas Thieme ... Minister Bruno Hempf
Hans-Uwe Bauer ... Paul Hauser
Volkmar Kleinert ... Albert Jerska
Matthias Brenner ... Karl Wallner
Charly Hübner ... Udo
... Gregor Hessenstein
Bastian Trost ... Häftling 227
Marie Gruber ... Frau Meineke
... Schriftexperte (as Zack Volker Michalowski)
... Einsatzleiter in Uniform
Martin Brambach ... Einsatzleiter Meyer
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Storyline

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 garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Where power is absolute, nothing is private. [Scandinavian Blu-ray.] See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some sexuality/nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

30 March 2007 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Lives of Others  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

€814,337 (Germany), 26 March 2006, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$213,589, 9 February 2007, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$11,286,112, 13 September 2007

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$77,356,819, 1 February 2009
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck: Heard on the letter opener's radio earpiece, announcing the fall of the Berlin Wall. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

[first lines]
Guard: [subtitled version] Stand still. Eyes to the floor.
[pause]
Guard: Walk on.
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Connections

Featured in Terms and Conditions May Apply (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Champus-Lied
Performed by Angelika Mann
Lyrics By Fred Gertz
Music By Joachim-Franz Bartzsch
Published by Edition Air Franz
(P) 2007 Colosseum Music Entertainment GmbH, Licensed From Sony BMG Music Entertainment (Germany) GmbH
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A German Expat Feels his first pang of forlorn German patriotism
16 October 2007 | by See all my reviews

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.


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