Monday, February 23, 2009

Das Leben der Anderen (2005-6)

Yesterday Anita & I watched a Netflix DVD: "The Lives of Others" (2005-6), in German, w/subtitles. Here is a par. from the New Yorker review by Anthony Lane (12 FEB 2007).

It is a tribute to the richness of the film that one cannot say for sure who the hero is. The most prominent figure is Gerd Wiesler (Ulrich Mühe), yet if you passed him on the street you wouldn’t give him a 2nd glance, or even a 1st. He would spot you, however, & file you away in a drawer at the back of his mind. Wiesler, based in East Berlin, is a captain in the Ministerium für Staatssicherheit, better known as the Stasi—the state security service, which, by the mid-1980s, employed more than 90K personnel. In addition, a modest 170K East Germans became unofficial employees, called upon to snoop & snitch for the honor—or, in practical terms, the survival—of the state. “Love thy neighbor as thyself,” Jesus said. The German Democratic Republic offered its own version: Watch thy neighbor, then pick up thy phone. The movie begins, fittingly, in 1984...

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