An honest symphony

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Sebastian Koch learns the terrible truth in ‘The Lives of Others’
Sebastian Koch learns the terrible truth in ‘The Lives of Others’

The Lives of Others (German with English subtitles)

Cast: Ulrich Muehe, Sebastian Koch, Martina Gedeck,

Director: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck

The hero in The Lives of Others hardly looks heroic. He is not the tall, dark and handsome knight in shining armour who will set everything right.

For that you have the lazily handsome playwright Georg Dreyman, who knows his Brecht and his classical music. When Dreyman’s beliefs come crashing down, he writes an impassioned article and does all the classically gallant things we have come to expect from our heroes.

The real hero is Gerd Wiesler, a committed officer of the dreaded secret police of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) before the fall of Berlin Wall.

He feels Dreyman is too good to be true and initiates 24-hour surveillance.

However, there are other forces at work namely a superior officer who lusts after Dreyman’s mistress, the stage actor Christa-Maria.

As Wiesler listens in on the conversations, a whole new world opens up to him and he begins to vicariously live the lives of others.

The cast is incredible from Ulrich Muehe’s nobly subversive Wiesler to Sebastian Koch’s feline Dreyman and Martina Gedeck’s statuesque but fragile Christa-Maria.

This Oscar-winning effort from Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck is a marvellous narration of a nation’s troubled history.It was 1984, a time of suspicion and paranoia, where any questions were ruthlessly crushed.





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