“The Lives of Others” – Despite popular belief, the U.S.A. does not corner the market on all political thrillers, and a perfect example is Germany’s absorbing and twisty “The Lives of Others”, which won the 2007 Best Foreign Language Film Oscar.
The year is 1984, before the Berlin Wall came down, and not only do East Germans feel generally oppressed, but it’s not safe for them to converse freely in the comfort of their homes either. The government could be listening.
This is exactly what playwright Georg Dreyman (Sebastian Koch) is coping with, as Hauptmann Gerd Wiseler (Ulrich Muhe), a lonely – but industrious – government employee, specializes in bugging apartments and houses, listening to conversations and reporting the intimate details to his superiors. Life becomes complicated for Wiseler, however, when listening to Greyman, his friends and lover becomes more than a job.
If you are looking for a memorable film wrapped in politics, but without a reminder of the U.S.’s current state of affairs, “The Lives of Others” is your movie.
Image credits: Sony Pictures Classics; Clip credits: wellgard