From 1950 until the Wall came down, the East German Ministry for State Security–cutesified to “Stasi“–spied on anybody suspected to be an enemy of socialism. Through an extensive web of informants, the Stasi created a society steeped in surveillance on a scale that wasn’t completely revealed until the files were made public after reunification. So far, movies about life in the GDR, such as Goodbye Lenin, tended to be bittersweet satires. With his award-winning and Oscar-nominated The Lives of Others, Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck takes a hard look at a country where a mind-boggling one in fifty citizens spied on the rest.

Das Leben der Anderen. Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, 2006. ****
[tags]film, 4 stars, germany, east germany, spies, surveillance, communism, florian henckel von donnersmarck, berlin[/tags]