The Lives of Others (2006)

April 18, 2022

Today’s movie of the day is a 2006 political thriller and drama, The Lives of Others. Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck is the writer and director of this German drama film. The Lives of Others was released on 23rd March 2006 in Germany. The movie set a new record with 11 nominations, winning seven Deutscher Filmpreis awards. The German film also won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film and grossed a whopping US$ 77 million as of November 2007 globally.

The movie opens in East Germany in 1984, where Gerd Wiesler (Stasi Hauptmann) is ordered to spy on Georg Dreyman, an internationally recognized playwright with Communist views. Wiesler and his team work round the clock by setting up 24-hour surveillance in Dreyman’s apartment. Gerd Wiesler later discovers that Bruno Hempf, the Minister of Culture, is behind Dreyman’s scrutiny orders. He realizes that the Minister lusts Dreyman’s girlfriend, Christa-Maria Sieland, who is an actress.

Bruno Hempf is consumed with the desire for Sieland and leaves no stone unturned to get Dreyman out of his way. After Dreyman discovered her girlfriend’s affair with the Minister of Culture, he wanted nothing to do with her. Later on, Wiesler gained intel on Hempf’s intentions and pursued Sieland to reconcile with Dreyman. Following that, Albert Jerska, Dreyman’s friend, hangs himself. It prompted Dreyman to publish an anonymous article on the government concealing the upraise in suicide rates, angering the East German authorities. With no evidence linking Dreyman to the article, Hempf orders Sieland’s arrest, blackmailing her into revealing the typewriter Dreyman used to write the article. Wiesler had already removed it when the authorities were coming for the typewriter.

The story ends with Sieland getting hit by a truck as she runs across the street, fearing that Dreyman will discover she betrayed her. Wiesler ends up working in the post office after his involvement in Dreyman’s case is unearthed. Finally, Dreyman realizes that Wiesler was the man who helped him survive the surveillance, and he dedicated his new novel, Sonate vom Guten Menschen to him.


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