"Das Leben der Anderen"

Ulrich Mühe

Yesterday the long-awaited DVD of The Lives of Others / Das Leben der Anderen was released in the U.S.

Just like everyone else I've spoken to, I LOVE this movie.

Since I am (West) German, the film holds a special historical and emotional significance. But its message reaches far beyond the historical and political implications; which is what makes this film so powerful.

A beautifully crafted contemplation on art and humanity.

The power and beauty of art.
Goodness and humanity brought out by art.
How (totalitarian) governments/organizations try to suppress art.
The need of the artist to do their art which can become more important than anything else.
(Sadly, also the artist who can thus be brought to turn away from their humanity.)
The role of the artist to capture and critique the status quo - to criticize the regime.

And then again courage, love and goodness.


(Afterthought: What bugged me a little bit was the translation of the title "Sonate vom Guten Menschen" as "Sonata for the Good Man" - I believe it should be "of the Good Man" or "from the Good Man". It does make a difference in meaning. Besides, the German word "Mensch" includes men and women and really should be translated as "human being" - but that doesn't make much of a difference. Except maybe in the context of the film only showing men as being good and courageous. Hm...)