Saturday, October 27, 2007

Lives of others

Last night Lucas and I got to watch our first movie in the new house. We chose 'Lives of Others', a recent German movie by director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck.
I highly recommend it. The director studied really hard to be able to make an extremely realistic, well made and touching movie about life in the East Germany. You can keep reading the post to know more about the movie - I won't spoil it.

Even though initially the main character seems to be a theater writer, you quickly realize that the most important person in the movie is the officer who's been assigned to monitor him. Following his life through headphones, the officer starts sharing the writer's feelings, and his own life is changed completely.

The clear depiction of the climate of control and fear that was in Eastern Germany was really scary and sad for me to watch. My political views are pretty left wing, and seeing what happened in the countries where socialism/communism was applied makes me very sad. One of the last scenes of the movie is set after the Berlin wall fall: the writer goes and asks for his own files showing how he had been monitored in the past. The librarian goes and looks for his files in a room containing hundreds of huge file-cabinets full of documents. Amazingly, we understood from the commentary that this scene was filmed in the real library, all those files really exist.. the number of people that had been monitored is unimaginable.

In any case, the movie is surely sad, but also very touching, and as I said, extremely well shot. And the music is beautiful and perfect. Again, strongly recommended.


Nora B. said...

Hi Marta, I saw it a few months back with a German friend and we both found it to be a very powerful and moving film. My friend was quite teary, it moved her a lot.

bee said...

saw this few months ago. liked it a lot. really glad to have spent all my life in representative democracies - although not perfect, much better than repressive regimes. --jai

chemcookit said...

Nora and Jai, thanks for your comments. Actually, I'd be really interested in seeing how life would be in a real socialistic country. It's pretty sad that it usually does go together with repressive regimes.

Amit said...

This was an excellent film. Didn't Spain try the "perfect" socialist/anarchist society for a while during the civil war? I think Orwell wrote a book on it - Homage to Catalonia.

Unknown said...

I loved the film too and I warmly recommend it, but what struck me most was not life in the DDR, as it used to be called, but the transformation of the main character, the depth of his love for the actress and the little difference in the life he led before and after the collapse of the wall. For any of you interested in old East Germany I suggest Good-bye Lenin, a nice movie on a much lighter tone.