The Lives of Others
In 1980s East Berlin, prior to the fall of the Wall and reunification, the first cracks in communist Europe are beginning to appear.
Successful young playwright Georg and his celebrated actress girlfriend Christa-Maria are suspected of dissidence and placed under Stasi surveillance by the East German Minister for Culture.
Soon the Stasi agent assigned to their case begins to question his own attitudes to freedom and the role of art as he comes to admire Georg’s courageous stance against the authoritarian regime.
When the Minister starts blackmailing Christa-Maria into both ideologically and sexually betraying her husband in return for allowing her career to continue, his true motives are exposed. The moral decay eating away at communist Eastern Germany is mirrored in the Minister’s own cynical abuse of his political position.
The Lives of Others is a muscular thought provoking thriller which manages to marry the personal and the political in a powerful indictment of a corrupt society where democracy is a dirty word. The film swept the German Film Awards this year winning seven (including best film, best actor, best script and best director) as well as Audience Awards at major film festivals such as Locarno, Warsaw, Vancouver and Zagreb. Most recently it won the Satyajit Ray Award for Best Debut Feature at the London Film Festival.