Saturday, 17 January 2009

The Lives of Others

I watched the film 'The Lives of Others' tonight. Interesting film. I think it's the only film I have seen about the former DDR that deals with issues seriously. The Stasi were sinister, dangerous, manipulative, and the extent of invasion of personal information overwhelmed me while I was watching the film. Very frightening.

I was interested particularly in how the film explored the issues facing writers, and other artists in those countries in Eastern Europe after WWII and until 1989 when the Berlin wall came down. How being a writer meant either writing to very strict codes or being a dissident, imprisoned, tortured, exiled. It is not so long ago.

It reminds me how lucky I am as a writer to have the freedoms to write what I want, where I want, in the way I want.


Michelle said...

I've made a note of The Lives of Others, Annie.

Last night was obviously film watching night. I watched Basquiat and Venus - Peter O'Toole is phenomenal. I was left with a lump in my throat.

Tania Hershman said...

It is an excellent film, isn't it? And what is the most terrifying is that it was the 1980s, hardly any time ago at all. I saw it a year after spending time in Germany with a group of science journalists, and sitting in on a discussion between the Germans and the Hungarian, about their childhoods under Communism. I was stunned, and felt totally ignorant that while I had been frittering away my teenage years, they had actually been experiencing neighbours informing on their friends. I am ashamed not to have known. That's why this is an important film.

TOM J VOWLER said...

A friend has been telling me to watch this for months, and for ages I've been going into various places asking if they have 'Other People's Lives'! I finally realised I had the title wrong, went into Blockbusters the other day, brimming with excitment at my new found knowledge, only to be told they didn't have it anyway!

Jen HE said...

I absolutely loved that film! I'm not sure I could watch it again for many years -- it really affected me, more so as the main character (spy) died recently, and he was so fantastic in it. Very moving, wonderful, everyone should watch it.