The Lives of Others

by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck

Winner of the Foreign Language Oscar 2007!

In contrast to light-hearted films about East Germany, The Lives of others ventures off the beaten track and tells its story without compromise and with great inner truthfulness. A story from the heart of the East German regime, it is an intensely gripping thriller and moving love story.East Berlin, November 1984. Five years before its downfall, the former East German government (GDR) ensured its claim to power with a ruthless system of control and surveillance. Party-loayalist Captain Gerd Wiesler hopes to boost his career when given the job of collecting evidence against the playwright Georg Dreyman and his girlfriend, the celebrated theater actress Christa-Maria Sieland. After all, the "operation" is backed by the highest political circles. What he didn't anticipate, however, was that submerging oneself into the world of the target also changes the surveillance agent. The immersion in The Lives of Others - in love, literature , free thinking and speech - makes Wiesler acutely aware of the meagerness of his own existence and opens to him a completely new way of life which he has ever more trouble resisting. But the system, once started, cannot be stopped. A dangerous game has begun...

Genre / Language / Length
Drama / German / 137 minutes
Original title
Das Leben der Anderen
directed by
Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck (THE LIVES OF OTHERS)
produced by
Wiedemann & Berg Filmproduktion in coproduction with Bayerischer Rundfunk, Arte, CREADO Film with backing from FilmFernsehFonds Bayern (FFF), Filmförderungsanstalt (FFA) and Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg in association with Beta Cinema
  • Martina Gedeck (THE LIVES OF OTHERS)
  • Ulrich Mühe
  • Sebastian Koch (THE LIVES OF OTHERS)
  • Ulrich Tukur (THE LIVES OF OTHERS)

Selected Festivals & Awards

79th Academy Awards (Oscars) | Best Foreign Language Film | awarded
62nd Golden Globe Awards | Best Foreign Language Film | nominated
79th Academy Awards | Best Foreign Language Film | awarded