Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Lives of Others: worth the DVD agony

After a rather fractious evening trying to watch the film, it was a bloody good job that the film proved to be worth the effort.

The Lives of Others has been sat waiting patiently to be watched since last autumn. Apologies Lisette. As said though, it was thankfully worth the wait and the agony of negotiating a truce with the DVD player for just long enough to finish watching the film.

Whilst criticism of how it creates sympathy for the Stasi, indeed perhaps tries to suggest there was a greater tendency to humanity than documented reports convey, has some legitimacy mostly the viewer is too captivated by the relationships portrayed to be so picky.

The petty mindedness of the Stasi, the individual power plays made by those prepared to rise and rise, the harsh responses to small acts: all are well displayed. But these are balanced by the urge to find sentiment and comfort in personal connections and there is a morbidly wry humour running through the film. Even though I should have seen the act coming, what happens with Christa does take me by surprise. And I loved watching the bewilderment of her partner Dreyman reading the Stasi reports written up from bugging his home.


Reviews are here.

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