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
In a book describing the background story of this movie, Ulrich Mühe accused his ex-wife Jenny Gröllmann of being an unofficial agent for the East German secret service ("Staatsicherheit"). See more »
In the final interrogation of Sieland by Wiesler, he sketches the floor plan in about 5 seconds, and definitely doesn't have time to make the double thickness lines, markers for windows, and door swing arcs. It in fact looks like at least two different pencils were used in the final sketch. His final stroke before showing her the sketch is circular in motion, with no circles to be found in the final. 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 do agree with all the other positive comments, and just need to add that this is the very first movie about the former GDR I saw that is not something like a comedy. Flicks like "Sonnenallee" or "Good bye Lenin" definitely were great and funny, but unconsciously left myself (a West German) with the impression that the GDR has been a sort of "Mickey Mouse State" full of stupid but charming characters, not really to be taken seriously. After seeing "Das Leben der Anderen" this impression shifted quite a bit: there actually was suffering, killing desperation and a terribly claustrophobic atmosphere behind that wall. This might well be the most realistic depiction of the dark side of the former East Germany. Thanks to the Producers, actors and director for making this movie. 10 out of 10.
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