The Lives of Others (Das Leben der Anderen)

with filmmaker Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck
Wednesday, February 7, 2007 - 7:00pm
A taut, intelligent thriller, The Lives of Others explores the corrosive effects on personal relationships and artistic expression of maintaining social control through pervasive surveillance. With over 100,000 agents and 200,000 active informants, East Germany had the most extensive spying network of any country in the former East Bloc. Set in 1984, dedicated Stasi agent Capt. Gerd Wiesler begins to investigate leading East German playwright Georg Dreyman at the request of a government minister he meets at the premiere of Dreyman's latest play. Though extensive bugging of Dreyman's apartment reveals no evidence of disloyalty, Wiesler soon discovers the real reason for the request: the minister's attraction to Dreyman's mistress, a famous actress. As Wiesler increasingly identifies with his subjects, he begins to question his own loyalty to the state. Winner of three prizes at the European Film Awards. (Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, 2005, 137 min, 35mm print)

Print courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics. Co-sponsored by the Committee on Cinema and Media Studies and the Department of Germanic Studies.