10 thoughts on “The Lives of Others”

  1. I saw this film recently and found it absorbing and moving. (see Petrona, somewhere). At risk of a spoiler and being wrong (because my memory is hopeless), I did not think it was the music alone that caused the conversion, but the combination of that with the death of the character — wasn’t that death (and the manner of it) the tipping point for action?

    Thanks for the literal translation of the title — that makes much more sense, and is much more poetic, too. We editors appreciate the enormous difference one little word can make, even if we don’t always read German!

  2. Eric, excellent. You’re won’t be disappointed!

    Maxine, my memory of the film is fading a bit (I wrote this review early last week) – but didn’t The Death happen quite towards the end of the film? I thought his conversion had already come by that point. Still, I didn’t think it was a major problem anyway.

  3. I also enjoyed this film, though found it marred by a certain heavy-handed sentimentality. The contrast of opposites – lush vs. bare and sterile flat, tender lovemaking vs. prostitute, for example – was a bit too stereotyped as well. Interesting aside: it was viewed as a class project by my son, who attends school in the former Stasi realm (Dresden).

    Ian, you’re correct about the translation of the title. The life/lives of others (no ‘the’) would normally read: das Leben anderer/von anderen.

  4. Thanks for your comment, John. Down this way – in Exeter – the options for seeing good foreign films are limited, so I try to see them as they turn up.

    Lee, there was a certain heavy-handedness to it, definitely. Interesting that your son saw it at school. The question that everyone seems to ask themselves is ‘Where are these people now?’

  5. Ian, I’ve just this moment received the programme for my daughter’s class trip to Berlin from a school near Bonn/Cologne to discover that one whole day will be devoted to the NS and Stasi past, including visits to the former Stasi prison and to the Stasi museum. I’ll ask my daughter if they discuss the question of where these people are now.

  6. Wow, I’m very jealous, Lee! I’d be interested to read on your blog what she found out.

  7. OK, maybe I’ll get her to do a guest post. She’s 16 and very politically and historically inclined (much more so than her ignorant mum). After the first week in June, then.

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