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The Lives of Others a movie by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck

From:     film reviews
Category: Films
Date:     15 April 2007
Time:     06:23 AM


Lot of awards. Reviews say it is a masterpiece. Even heard good things from a film-making 
acquaintance of the director, whom you would have expected to have been negatively biased by a 
tinge of jealousy. All positive indicators.

I was disappointed of course. It was solid and engaging like a good tv drama. You could imagine it as 
a miniseries. Stasi rhymes with Nazi, sort of,  the gray policeman turns into an audience and director 
for the richer lives of others, and the surveillance/detention theme has nice resonances for todays 
post 9/11 culture. Yet the usual sentimentality seeps in, the Stasi main guy turns how to be a good 
mensch, always the compromise in films that we need someone to believe in. The slightly too vertical 
actress dies for her sins. The handsome writer survives unscathed to write. The ending should have 
been sad and abrupt, but no it goes on and we must see East Germany, and the Stasi -guy and the 
writer, reunited if only in dedication.  Happyish hollywood and too much explication, like the scenes in 
the graveyards or Israel or whatever they always tack on to war/holocuast movies.  

Leave them wanting more.

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