The Web    www.100share.com    Google
 
The Lives of Others [Blu-ray]
List Price: $38.96

Our Price: $22.75

You Save: $16.21 (42%)

 


Product Description

This critically-acclaimed, Oscar?-winning film (Best Foreign Language Film, 2006) is the erotic, emotionally-charged experience Lisa Schwarzbaum (Entertainment Weekly) calls "a nail-biter of a thriller!" Before the collapse of the Berlin Wall, East Germany¡¯s population was closely monitored by the State Secret Police (Stasi). Only a few citizens above suspicion, like renowned pro-Socialist playwright Georg Dreyman, were permitted to lead private lives. But when a corrupt government official falls for Georg¡¯s stunning actress-girlfriend, Christa, an ambitious Stasi policeman is ordered to bug the writer¡¯s apartment to gain incriminating evidence against the rival. Now, what the officer discovers is about to dramatically change their lives - as well as his - in this seductive political thriller Peter Travers (Rolling Stone) proclaims is "the best kind of movie: one you can¡¯t get out of your head."

Nominated for a Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, this is a first-rate thriller that, like Bertolucci's The Conformist and Coppola's The Conversation, opts for character development over car chases. The place is East Berlin, the year is 1984, and it all begins with a simple surveillance assignment: Capt. Gerd Wiesler (Ulrich M¨¹he in a restrained, yet deeply felt performance), a Stasi officer and a specialist in this kind of thing, has been assigned to keep an eye on Georg Dreyman (Sebastian Koch, Black Book), a respected playwright, and his actress girlfriend, Christa-Maria Sieland (Martina Gedeck, Mostly Martha). Though Dreyman is known to associate with the occasional dissident, like blacklisted director Albert Jerska (Volkmar Kleinert), his record is spotless. Everything changes when Wiesler discovers that Minister Hempf (Thomas Thieme) has an ulterior motive in spying on this seemingly upright citizen. In other words, it's personal, and Wiesler's sympathies shift from the government to its people--or at least to this one particular person. That would be risky enough, but then Wiesler uses his privileged position to affect a change in Dreyman's life. The God-like move he makes may be minor and untraceable, but it will have major consequences for all concerned, including Wiesler himself. Writer/director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck starts with a simple premise that becomes more complicated and emotionally involving as his assured debut unfolds. Though three epilogues is, arguably, two too many, The Lives of Others is always elegant, never confusing. It's class with feeling. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Beyond The Lives of Others


Films from Germany

Other Cold War Films


More Arthouse Selections

from Sony Pictures Classics

Stills from The Lives of Others (click for larger image)







Customer Reviews:

  • HGW XX/7 rules!
    One of the best films I've been watching for months, and I have seen quite a bit of them! Also I visisted the Stasi headquarters in Berlin some years ago which appear in this film and are in reality now a museum open to the public, tell you: Spooky place! Besides Ulrich M¨¹he also played in the original "Funny Games" a stunning sadistic film from Michael Haneke. ...more info
  • The Lives of Others - great movie
    My girlfriend is German and i speak some German so we heard about this movie and decided to buy it. Great movie and it earned an Oscar us.imdb.com/title/tt0405094/awards . the movie shows how controlling the East Germans were over their people and how they achieved that control. might be too artsy a movie for some that may prefer Jim Carey/Adam Sandler movies which i ABSOLUTELY LOVE. my favorite genre is Comedy, funny enough. still this movie is thought provoking and shows you how much bureaucracy it takes for a government to keep their people down. everything can be stifled especially the arts, music and movies specifically.
    Bottom line, good movie whether you speak (or are) German, but resonates more if you do or are....more info
  • Stasi Life
    'The Lives of Others' deserved its foreign-language Oscar.
    The acting and plot were well integrated, and the overall
    theme of the violation of privacy was gripping. The writer-
    director's commentary on the DVD was engrossing. ...more info
  • It Transcends The Genre
    It also constantly made me wonder, despite its opening "this is fiction" disclaimer, just how much of this is real. It's a spy story set in 1980s East Germany, at the height of the Stasi era, about spying on "the lives of others," hence its title.

    The characters were extremely real, and the best stories must unfold from that. We also have loyalty puzzles to solve, a gripping plot, political realism, a fast pace, and just intelligence from the writer and a desire by everyone associated with this film to make something great.

    I've just recently learned about downloading movies from Amazon, which would be a major boon if we could do it from outside the US as well. But this is a DVD that was meant to be owned, because you'll want to watch it again. It's a keeper.
    ...more info
  • Somewhere, somehow, someone.....
    In a heartless time under a heartless regime, somehow, someone found a heart, and faced with a dilemma made a decision, that would impact the Lives of Others.

    It is a rare sign only seen in the best movies, and masterful how this movie builds up, and unwinds, and unwinds even more just as you think its already completely unwound.

    This story is as intricate as the inner working of a watch, make the slightest wrong adjustment and....

    So Ulrich Muhe gives an excellent performance as does Sebastian Koch as Dreyman. Apparently, Muhe was bugged himself when he live in East Germany, and his ex wife sued him for mentioning this in a radio interview.

    Lives of Others won Best Foreign Language movie at the Oscars. After watching the movie, I watched some of the earlier scenes over. At around 8 minutes you see the actresses proclamation on stage, and the words she said set up two later scenes. See if you can figure it out.

    If you're like me, and you love this movie, you will most probably also like Blackbook, also starring Sebastian Koch as the male lead. Directed by Paul Verhoeven, of Basic Instinct and Total Recall fame. One of the few movies I have bought in addition to watching.

    I hope you find this review helpful, and, if you do, please click yes.

    ...more info
  • One of the great films
    This is a truly extraordinary film on every level: a profound, humanistic, historically meticulous work; stunningly researched; exquisitely filmed; brilliantly acted. It ranks among the greatest achievements of cinema. Lenin, according to Gorky, said that he could not continue to listen to Beethoven's "Appasionata," because he would stroke the heads that he must crush. This is a film about a Lenin who hears the music, and, above all, the music of other people's lives. It is simply unforgettable....more info
  • a Master Piece
    "The Lives of the Others" paints an excellent picture of recent German history, when the East German Stasi (secret police) made it their business to know what each and every one of their 17 million citizens was thinking, who was critisizing the Communist Government and worse yet,was considering "Republikflucht" (escape from the Republic), which landed you in jail for years.
    More than just providing an excellent historical review, this movie makes it chillingly clear what happens if the government infringes more and more on your rights to free speech and independent thought... which could happen in every country... ...more info
  • The lives of others
    Great! Being one that actually had first hand experience with the East German Stasi this movie is dead on. The late Ulrich Muhe who plays the villian turned sympathetic hero, knows his role perfect, his second wife spied on him for the secret police in East Germany....more info
  • One of the great films
    This is a truly extraordinary film on every level: a profound, humanistic, historically meticulous work; stunningly researched; exquisitely filmed; brilliantly acted. It ranks among the greatest achievements of cinema. Lenin, according to Gorky, said that he could not continue to listen to Beethoven's "Appasionata," because he would stroke the heads that he must crush. This is a film about a Lenin who hears the music, and, above all, the music of other people's lives. It is simply unforgettable....more info
  • Well done
    I came across this at a back room theater that showed foreign and independent film. This is the best film I saw there. I loved the relationship that developed between the characters and their personal growth. I was quite happy with this one....more info
  • Humanity blooms in Cold War Germany
    In Cold War East Germany, a Stasi spy, who at first glance appears to be lacking in humanity, listens in on the lives of playwright Georg Dreyman and his girlfriend, Christa, in an attempt to expose Dreyman as a subversive. In the process, however, the spy finds himself becoming more and more involved in the lives of Georg and Christa.

    For the most part, I agree with what other reviewers have said about "The Lives of Others". Yes, this is a well made film that makes you truly understand what life was like in Cold War East Germany and I was fascinated by the character of Captain Weisler (Ulrich Muhe), the spy who listens in on "the lives of others". Watching Weisler's humanity bloom over the course of the film is a testament to how well this film is directed and to what a great actor Muhe is. However, for me, this film was let down by the fact that, even after 2 hours, I just didn't feel anything for Georg and Christa and didn't care whether they lived or died. I think this is in part due to the nature of the film. This is a film about voyeurism, and voyeurism is all about watching rather than participating. At the end of the film, I felt like I had watched Georg and Christa, but I didn't feel like I was a part of their lives. Then again, this feeling made me feel like I was in the same place as Capt. Weisler and I understood him all the more because of it.

    Overall, this is not my favourite foreign language film of all time, nor is it the best that I have see - I'm not sure if I would have given it the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar if it was up to me. Nevertheless, it is an excellent film and worth watching at least once.
    ...more info
  • DVD Region Codes
    I would like to take this opportunity to complain about the region codes of DVDs. I think that they are a major nuisance and just the consequence of the sort of greed that brought the global financial system so close to collapse. They serve no other purpose than squeezing a maximum of dollars out of the pockets of customers. Amazon as a major buyer might very well be in a position to do something effective against this nonsense. Would be great!...more info
  • DVD Region Codes
    I would like to take this opportunity to complain about the region codes of DVDs. I think that they are a major nuisance and just the consequence of the sort of greed that brought the global financial system so close to collapse. They serve no other purpose than squeezing a maximum of dollars out of the pockets of customers. Amazon as a major buyer might very well be in a position to do something effective against this nonsense. Would be great!...more info
  • Great movie....
    the subtitles are very easy to read in this blu-ray format; very clear.I think it was worth the extra cost as I will watch it many times......more info
  • unexpected hit
    The movie is both good and entertaining, the acting is simply superb, the historic reconstruction is very believable.

    ...more info
  • HGW XX/7 rules!
    One of the best films I've been watching for months, and I have seen quite a bit of them! Also I visisted the Stasi headquarters in Berlin some years ago which appear in this film and are in reality now a museum open to the public, tell you: Spooky place! Besides Ulrich M¨¹he also played in the original "Funny Games" a stunning sadistic film from Michael Haneke. ...more info
  • Scary Stuff
    This movie should be watched by every person 18 and older in this country...especially in the light of the results of the recent election. If anyone would like to see for themselves the extent to which an out of control, nanny state government can reach this is required viewing....more info
  • Exceptional film about how a corrupt system can pervert people's lives
    Superb German film about how people operate within the corrupt and perverted German Democratic Republic 4 years before the fall of the Berlin Wall; some people are just bad like the odious Minister Hempf, others face the fear of a visit from the dreaded Stasi for their activities, while others are forced to inform on their friends, and still others like Oberstleutnant Anton Grubitz just make do within a system they don't even believe in.
    "The Lives of Others" features a brilliant script from Writer/Director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck and equally brilliant direction - every scene contains telling little moments as he draws great performances out of a wonderful cast. Excellent music and production design add to the impact.
    An altogether exceptional film....more info
  • The Evil Of Communism and Related Ideals..Beautiful movie.
    What a Beautiful Movie.. I rented it first...and despite being long...is very much worth it. I love it, and it is so sad. ...more info
  • The lives of others
    The best movie that covers a lot of the eastern way. I was born there.
    My grandparents where seperatet from us between east and west. I visitet every year from the time I was 8 years old to 14 years old. I had various exeriances crossing the border and livering in the comunist country 6 weeks every year. There be lots more canvas for other movies.
    Exellent viewing and exellent as far as facts go....more info
  • Falling into the Lives of Others...
    From the first frame to the last incredibly moving moment, "The Lives of Others" tells a delicate, suspenseful and beautifully moving story about an East German officer before the fall of the Berlin Wall, and how his surveillance of a playwright and his wife changes his life (and theirs) forever. The title is as much about envy as it is about discovery -- the main character is a painfully solitary man -- one who has always done his duty -- but this small surveillance changes him in ways he could never have anticipated. He grows to care for the lives he witnesses -- and to (perhaps) envy them.

    For instance, there's a small incidental scene where a little boy passes on his father's insult about the Stazi (the DDR police) and the man turns to snap at the boy and to reflexively ask what his father's name is (as he is used to doing -- everyone is supposed to be 'turned in' for the slightest infraction). And yet he has changed. He can't finish the sentence. It's a very small moment but it stayed with me.

    For those who may be a bit skittish about foreign films or 'art' films, I strongly recommend giving this movie a shot. It's easy to follow, incredibly well acted, and has a powerful ending. As a snapshot of a particularly grim time and place, it's terrifying. The suspense is a constant presence because of the "everyone's watching" premise -- every word overheard, every action seen, every thought anticipated. The tension is constant.

    And Ulrich M¨¹he simply owns the film. I was so sorry to hear of his death after filming, as the man has an incredible screen presence -- he's absolutely riveting, and despite his character's quietness, your eye is always drawn to him. His face is so expressive that its very stillness is powerful (and never more so than in the film's final and very satisfying moment).

    Note: The main Amazon review talks about "too many epilogues" and I can't disagree with this enough. The ending, for me, is perfect -- heartlifting, powerful, and beautiful....more info
  • Beautifully Emotional
    What a wonderful film! Direction is so precise; the story takes surprise turns, and the ending makes you cry. I did not believe this movie would affect me this much. Moreover, art direction is superb. Characters are portrayed as REAL people, by gifted actors. I liked the language being German with subtitles. German movies with actors speaking English are totally phony. I'm glad Hollywood didn't make this film. ...more info