Rarely do I see a movie that makes a profound impact on me, but the movie The Lives Of Others will be one to remember and reflect on for a long time to come.
Set in East Germany in 1985, Stasi (the name of the secret police of East Germany) Captain Weisler is assigned to monitor the conversations and actions of playright Georg Dreyman. Weisler is the prototypical communist apparatchik: dry, boring, and gray. Through his undetected surveillances of Dreyman's conversations, Weisler begins to grow progressively more sympathetic to the internal conflicts of Dreyman. Dreyman, you see, is a loyal East German, which is so infuriating to his writer buddies (all of whom are subversives) that he's alienating them. Only after a good friend and brilliant stage director, who is blacklisted by the powers-that-be, kills himself does Dreyman secretly turn on the government. Weisler, through his perpetual listening, does as well. I'll not spoil the movie for those of you who plan on seeing it. (Please note, it's all in subtitles.) But I will say that it is a positive affirmation that the joys of thinking and saying are deeply rooting in all of us, and when they're denied, it is soul destroying.
I certainly hope that this movie gets more viewership than the digusting hagiography of Che Guevara, "The Motorcycle Diaries". If one wants to know what living in communism is really about, go see this movie if you can.