Das Leben Der Anderden - The Lives Of Others

"Actors are never, who they are." Christa-Maria

"Actors are never, who they are." Christa-Maria


Das Leben Der Anderden - The Lives Of Others (2006) won the Best Foreign Film Oscar.

Directed and written by Florian Maria Georg Christian Graf Henckel Von Donnersmarck.

Starring Ulrich Muehe, Martina Gedeck and Sebastian Koch among others.

Florian sequesters himself in a monk's cell to write and produce his films. The monk's cell is provided by his Uncle; who is a Cistercian Abbot. I say this because, I wish more directors and writers would go into a monk's cell to write and produce films of this caliber and depth of humanity. This is the kind of movie that grabs you by the throat from the opening and never lets you go. The script, directing and acting are very tight and explode in a beautiful, unique and thought provoking ending. If Florian never makes another film, this film will grant him immortality, because humans a thousand years from now will relate to the human themes, so lovingly crafted, woven and presented.

As an audience member I felt and understood the films unspoken subtext; the compromises we humans struggle with on a daily basis in our careers. In that regard it reminded me of Martin Ritts', The Spy Who Came In From The Cold (1965).

The lead actor, Ulrich Muehe is in a dazzlingly understated, but deeply imbued struggle within himself about at what point does he cross the line of right and wrong for his job. Ulrich through his eyes alone reveals the struggle he is having within his deepest self of allowing his humanity to feel for other humans. Ulrich starts as a robot for the Stasi (East German Secret Police), but gradually we see him, first question his superiors motives, then we see him struggle with the Stasi programmed beliefs that have earned him the respect of his colleagues and the fear of his victims. As an actor viewing Ulrich's character development throughout the film I was impressed by the meticulous, reckless abandon in his performance. Ulrich had to confront all his and his characters demons and bring out them out from their locked closet and show them to us without any shame or fear. That takes years of training and discipline to do what Ulrich does throughout this film.

Another outstanding acting performance was by Martina Gedeck who I recognized from the film, The Good Shepherd. Watch how Martina makes her character throughout the film sensual and vulnerable. Martina knows how to move and use her body in space. I can tell she has a highly trained instrument. It's fun to always see a well trained actor move fluidly in a room.

The scene below gives you an idea of the cloak and dagger and danger that the characters go through from start to finish.


Trivia - The poem that Weisler reads is Brecht's poem Erinnerung An Die Marie A.