Wednesday, February 07, 2007

The Lives of Others by Florian Henkel

Just when I thought I was not going to see films about Germany divided/united, the Stasi, the Nazis or the Holocaust I stumbled upon this excellent production by German director Florian Henkel. The story starts 4 years before the fall of the Berlin Wall in Western Berlin. A celebrated writer (Sebastian Koch) and his girlfriend (Martina Gedeck) have ways of dealing with the Stasi. He writes complacent books and she acts on authorized plays but their art and their relationship is endangered when they both find out they can't keep on pretending. Soon they engage in rebellious activities assuming they are not being watched, but they are in for a suprise.

I felt this film is similar to Rodrigo Moreno's EL CUSTODIO, Bernardo Bertolucci's SPIDER STRATEGEM and Francis Ford Coppola's THE CONVERSATION (themes of surveillance,lonliness, madness).

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