This one I recommend!

Ulrich Mühe as Wiesler

Blogging kind of bores me, but I will keep sharing my thoughts on movies, for certain. Today I’m going to write about a very well-recieved German film, Das Leben der Anderen (eng.The Lives of Others).

Hauptmann Gerd Wiesler (Ulrich Mühe) is a loyal Stasi-agent in the German Democratic Republic in 1984 (Berlin-wall still standing, for those who don’t know); he sits in a dark attic, headphones on, listening to the sounds and eavesdropping on the lives of others, making no sounds and barely any movement – there is only him, his surveillance-gear and his thoughts.

Wiesler gets assigned by one of his superiors to bug the flat of playwright and author Georg Dreyman (Sebastian Koch), and eavesdrop on him and his girlfriend, actress Christa-Maria Sieland, played by Martina Gedeck. At first Wiseler is not entirely sure as to why he needs to spy on this man, but once it all becomes clear to him, and once he starts to feel sorry for the couple, he starts to lie to his superiors about what they do and what they talk about. He becomes their protector.

You could say that the Dreyman-storyline has a lot more going on than that of Wiesler, such as love-affairs and suicides, but Wiesler is the main reason I enjoyed this film; he is a very fascinating character, who has no life or no real friends or hobbies, and whose facial expression never changes. Instead, the audience needs to look him in the eyes to figure out what he might be feeling and thinking about. His lack of emotion isn’t bad acting – it is just extreme subtlety.

Dreyman (left) and Christa-Maria, unaware that someone is listening.

Das Leben der Anderen is a very queit and slow movie, so I can’t recommend it to those who wish to see an explosion every 9 minutes or a shampoo-hating vampire-wannabe running around in a forest and making out with an ugly girl, although you should definitely see it if you’re a true film-buff and need to see some really good foreign films.

Despite it’s silence, the movie manages to be very powerful, smart and touching. I really love how closely you need to watch Wiseler to understand him, I love the sound of the music, I love how intelligent the writing is, I love how believable the actors are, I loved the way it was filmed, I just loved how it made me feel.

Basically, what I’m saying is that this is damn good film. It’s the greatest German film I’ve seen, although I haven’t seen that many, to be perfectly honest.

4.5/5 whatever.

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