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The Lives of Others [Blu-ray] [2006]

  • SKU: 8405193
  • Release Date: 08/21/2007
  • Rating: R

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    Ratings & Reviews

    Overall Customer Rating:
    100% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (9 out of 9)

    Special Features

    • Deleted scenes
    • Interview with director Florian Henckel Von Donnersmarck
    • Director's commentary: making of The Lives of Others


    The Lives of Others
    A man who has devoted his life to ferreting out "dangerous" characters is thrown into a quandary when he investigates a man who poses no threat in this drama, the first feature from German filmmaker Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck. It's 1984, and Capt. Gerd Wiesler (Ulrich Mühe) is an agent of the Stasi, the East German Secret Police. Weisler carefully and dispassionately investigates people who might be deemed some sort of threat to the state. Shortly after Weisler's former classmate, Lt. Col. Grubitz (Ulrich Tukur), invites him to a theatrical piece by celebrated East German playwright Georg Dreyman (Sebastian Koch), Minister Bruno Hempf (Thomas Thieme) informs Weisler that he suspects Dreyman of political dissidence, and wonders if this renowned patriot is all that he seems to be. As it turns out, Hempf has something of an ulterior motive for trying to pin something on Dreyman: a deep-seated infatuation with Christa-Maria Sieland (Martina Gedeck), Dreyman's girlfriend. Nevertheless, Grubitz, who is anxious to further his career, appoints Weisler to spy on the gentleman with his help. Weisler plants listening devices in Dreyman's apartment and begins shadowing the writer. As Weisler monitors Dreyman's daily life, however (from a secret surveillance station in the gentleman's attic), he discovers the writer is one of the few East Germans who genuinely believes in his leaders. This changes over time, however, as Dreyman discovers that Christa-Maria is being blackmailed into a sexual relationship with Hempf, and one of Dreyman's friends, stage director Albert Jerska (Volkmar Kleinert), is driven to suicide after himself being blackballed by the government. Dreyman's loyalty thus shifts away from the East German government, and he anonymously posts an anti-establishment piece in a major newspaper which rouses the fury of government officials. Meanwhile, Weisler becomes deeply emotionally drawn into the lives of Dreyman and Sieland, and becomes something of an anti-establishment figure himself, embracing freedom of thought and expression. A major box-office success in Germany, Das Leben der Anderen (aka The Lives of Others) received its North American premiere at the 2006 Toronto Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

    Cast & Crew

    • Martina Gedeck
      Martina Gedeck - Christa-Maria Sieland
    • Sebastian Koch
      Sebastian Koch - Georg Dreyman
    • Ulrich Tukur
      Ulrich Tukur - Lieutenant Colonel Anton Grubitz
    • Thomas Thieme
      Thomas Thieme - Minister Bruno Hempf
    • Hans-Uwe Bauer
      Hans-Uwe Bauer - Paul Hauser

    Customer rating

    Rating 5 out of 5 stars with 9 reviews

    would recommend to a friend

    Most relevant reviews

    See all customer reviews
    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      Sonata for a Good Man


      This is the most perfect representation I've ever seen of what life is truly like in a socialist system, where the government all in the name of "state security" (a term you hear used in the film numerous times to justify their over reaching actions) can dictate a person's every move. Set in 1984, it focuses on a writer whom the government grows suspicious of and is put under surveillance, two men taking turns listening on headphones via the sound bugs planted in his home and transcribing the conversations they hear. But one of the men, who goes by the codename of HGW XX/7, finds himself becoming sympathetic towards the writer and his girlfriend, a well known and respected actress. He attempts to cover up the writer's activity of having an article published in Western Germany that puts the East in a bad light, but ultimately ends in heartbreak for the writer and the agent. Years later, the writer learns the truth of what really transpired and why he was never arrested and thrown into detention. The film ends beautifully and will warm your heart, putting a smile on your face.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      One of the Most Powerful Films in Recent History


      Winner of the 2007 Academy Award for Best Foreign Film, The Lives of Others gives in insight to the politics and machinations of the East Berlin government in 1984. Citizens are under suspicion of various crimes against the government, from helping a neighbor defect to the West to making incendiary statements that may offend high ranking officials. This movie revolves around a playwright, his famous actress girlfriend, and the official who has been sent to monitor them (for reasons that are not political). The story supplies many moments of surprise and even humour as they struggle to make the choices that will ultimately lead to their survival or their demise. The acting is brilliant, especially by Ulrich Muhe who tragically passed away in early 2007. It is a fact that many of the actors lived through ths time as artists who were faced with the same danger of being blacklisted or put in jail for the criminal act of voicing opinions. The writing is also stellar, and the ending of the film is one of the most beautiful moments on screen. I highly recommend this film.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      Outstanding Look at a Country Under Siege

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      • My Best Buy® MemberMember

      Under-appreciated on this side of the Atlantic, THE LIVES OF OTHERS (in the original German, *Das Leben der Andreren*) is a powerful 2005 film about a country under siege -- the former East Germany in 1989 -- and under siege by its own police force, the *Stasi* (short for "State Security"). Far from a period piece, it gives insight into the East German experience as a Soviet satellite and suggests how those years of oppression reverberate today. For all that, it is not a "political" movie or documentary, but a drama with some of German's finest actors and talents in front of and behind the camera. Justly acclaimed in Germany and other European countries, it could use more attention here in the USA. Why not give it a try?

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      2nd Best German Foreign Film


      I purchased this film having never seen it because I remembered it winning an Academy Award for Best Foreign Film 2006. It put me in touch with Germany's history and culture nearing the Fall of the Berlin Wall when tensions and paranoia were high. I loved this movie, especially the way it ended. Aside from "Run Lola Run" this is the best German film I have ever seen. Buy it. You won't be sorry.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      Excellent film!


      A truly excellent film. A subject not often addressed and not comfortable to consider, but a story that must be told. Although set in 1984, much of the subject matter has relevence to today. Like another great film of the late 70's FFC's the Conversation, there is much more to this film than meets the eye.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      A Future Five Star Classic


      This movie depicts detail on many fronts. The story is rich in content and the acting superb. It will keep you on the edge of your seat - mentally and emotionally. If the nudity could be cut out, this one should be shown in social studies and American government classes.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      Excellent 5-star ++++


      I saw this movie 3 times consecutively. I haven't seen a film with such finesse and quality for an extremely long time. This film should have won the best Oscar film altogether, not only the Best Foreign film category.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      Best movie I've seen in a decade


      This is both a tragic and heroic story of deception, cruelty, love and redemption. A must-see film about totalitarian states, paranoia, and repression.

      I would recommend this to a friend

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