🎦 The Lives of Others full movie HD download (Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck) - Drama, Thriller. 🎬
The Lives of Others
Year:
2006
Country:
Germany
Genre:
Drama, Thriller
IMDB rating:
8.4
Director:
Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck
Martina Gedeck as Christa-Maria Sieland
Ulrich Mühe as Hauptmann Gerd Wiesler
Sebastian Koch as Georg Dreyman
Ulrich Tukur as Oberstleutnant Anton Grubitz
Thomas Thieme as Minister Bruno Hempf
Hans-Uwe Bauer as Paul Hauser
Volkmar Kleinert as Albert Jerska
Matthias Brenner as Karl Wallner
Herbert Knaup as Gregor Hessenstein
Bastian Trost as Häftling 227
Marie Gruber as Frau Meineke
Volker Michalowski as Schriftexperte (as Zack Volker Michalowski)
Werner Daehn as Einsatzleiter in Uniform
Storyline: In the early 1980s, Georg Dreyman (a successful dramatist) and his longtime companion Christa-Maria Sieland (a popular actress), were huge intellectual stars in (former) East Germany, although they secretly don't always toe the party line. One day, the Minister of Culture becomes interested in Christa, so the secret service agent Wiesler is instructed to observe and sound out the couple, but their life fascinates him more and more.
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Reviews
Best film I have seen...perhaps ever!
This is an incredible film. I had heard nothing about it until a friend suggested we take a look. I entered the cinema without a clue what it was about and whether it was going to be any good. It turned out to be stupendously good. The characters were brilliantly wholesome and the story was lacking in nothing.

The film is set in the 1980's in Germany and details the lives of those living under the regime in East Germany, focusing on some of the more "controversial" types in society; namely artists, play writes and actors. The relationships really tug at your heart and the turn of events is entirely unexpected.

I cannot believe that there is so little written about it but suggest that you see it now.
2007-02-04
Good German(s)
Since the early days of film-making--actually, since the first plays were written--the gold standard for a good dramatic work is one that combines an intriguing plot with complex characters, to illuminate something about human behavior. It's surprising, then, that so many movies still fall short of the mark. At the risk of oversimplifying things, plot-heavy movies tend to ignore character development, and character-study movies ignore a streamlined plot for the sake of a series of episodes. It takes something like "The Lives of Others," an excellent and moving drama, to remind you of how great a movie can be when it combines these elements.

Not only does this movie have a suspenseful plot that follows the logic of cause-and-effect until everything ties together beautifully, but the workings of the plot are unpredictable, and intimately linked to the characters' psychology. For drama does not result merely from watching external events happen to characters, but from seeing them actively make choices that affect their own lives and (forgive the pun) the lives of others.

The set-up is simple but highly resonant: in 1984 East Berlin, by-the-book Stasi agent Wiesler (Ulrich Mühe) is assigned to wiretap and listen in on playwright Georg Dreyman (Sebastian Koch) and his actress girlfriend, Christa-Maria Sieland (Martina Gedeck). But because Dreyman has always presented himself as a loyal citizen, Wiesler dimly begins to realize just how paranoid and corrupt his government is. Also, he becomes fascinated with the couple's warm, semi-bohemian lifestyle, which contrasts with his own solitary existence. Wiesler thus finds himself reconsidering his values, while at the same time Georg and Christa-Maria reconsider theirs. Should Georg use his writing talent to reveal the horrible conditions in East Germany? Should Christa-Maria submit to a lustful government minister, who could ruin her career if he doesn't get his way? These choices are hard, and only lead to more hard choices.

This plot allows for scenes loaded with the great dramatic irony and subtext that results from one character knowing something that another does not. The movie's complex and intelligent themes include theatre/fakery/acting versus real life, and the voyeurism of a spy versus the voyeurism of a cinema-goer. And above all, "The Lives of Others" is a moving exploration of ethics and humanity. Not many recent movies ask the question "What does it really mean to be a good person?" and even fewer answer it with the honesty and depth that this film does.

"The Lives of Others" does not over-explain itself--none of the characters can confide in anyone, so they make their difficult choices without talking about why they've acted that way. Yet everything that happens in the movie has the ring of emotional truth. Thanks to the beautifully realized performances, you never doubt that the characters would behave in exactly that way, nor that they feel deep anguish in coming to their decisions.

I haven't seen all the acclaimed movies from the past year yet, but as it stands now, "The Lives of Others" is my choice for the best movie of 2006.
2007-03-31
As near perfect as movies get.
I was disappointed when Pan's Laybrinth didn't get the Academy Award for the best foreign film of 2006, but then I hadn't had a chance to see this movie. I'm an avid movie goer for the last 60 years and I have just about seen every worthwhile movie made. This movie is as good as any other movie I have seen if not better. It is by far the best movie made since the turn of the millennium if not for all time.

If you are looking for a typical "Hollywood" formula movie then you had best not go to see this one. But, if you are looking for sublime movie making in every respect then this is the movie made for you. It doesn't matter if the movie is in German the subtitles are excellent and along with the acting and direction a perfect story is told.

Support excellence in movie making by putting this movie on the top of your list to see this year.
2007-03-24
A stunning directorial debut which deserves to be seen everywhere
Because this movie deals with recent German history, some German comments about it get sidetracked into minute historical discussions. Forget them; Das Leben der Anderen is an outstanding movie that should be seen everywhere.

The former East Germany, a relatively small country of 16 million people, was controlled by the most sophisticated, cunning, and thorough secret police the world has ever seen, the East German Ministerium für Staatsicherheit, or "Stasi." The Stasi had about 90,000 employees -- a staggering number for such a small population -- but even more importantly, recruited a network of hundreds of thousands of "unofficial employees," who submitted secret reports on their co-workers, bosses, friends, neighbors, and even family members. Some did so voluntarily, but many were bribed or blackmailed into collaboration.

Das Leben der Anderen, ("The Life of Others") German director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck's debut, builds this painful legacy into a fascinating, moving film. In its moral seriousness, artistic refinement, and depth, Das Leben der Anderen simply towers over other recent German movies, and urgently deserves a wide international release. The fulcrum of the movie (but probably not its most important character) is Georg Dreyman, an up-and-coming East German playwright in his late 30s. Played by the square-jawed Sebastian Koch, Dreyman is an (apparently) convinced socialist who's made his peace with the regime. His plays are either ideologically neutral or acceptable, and he's even received State honors.

Although he is a collaborator, he is also a Mensch. He uses his ideological "cleanliness" to intervene on behalf of dissidents such as his journalist friend Paul Hauser (Hans-Uwe Bauer). These unfortunates must contend with every humiliation a totalitarian state can invent: their apartments are bugged, friends and family are recruited to inform on them, and chances to publish or perform can be extinguished by one stray comment from a Central Committee member. The most recalcitrant can be kicked out of the country and stripped of their citizenship, like the singer songwriter Wolf Biermann.

Dreyman lives in a shabby-genteel, book-filled apartment with his girlfriend Christa-Maria Sieland (Martina Gedeck), a renowned actress who often appears in his plays. At the beginning of the movie, Dreyman himself comes under the regime's suspicion, for reasons that become clear only later. The fearful machinery of the Stasi rumbles to life: his movements are recorded, and his apartment bugged. The Stasi had bugging down to a science: a team of meticulously-trained agents swoop into your apartment when you're not there, install miniscule, undetectable listening devices in every single room -- including the bathroom -- and vanish in less than an hour, leaving no trace. Agents set up an secret electronic command post nearby, keeping a written record of every joke, argument, or lovemaking session.

The "operative process" against Dreyman is overseen by Stasi captain Gerd Wiesler, played by Ulrich Mühe, an actor from the former East who was himself once in the Stasi's cross-hairs. Captain Wiesler starts the film as a colorless, icy, tight-lipped professional who shows no mercy in fighting the "enemies of socialism": if he needs to interrogate a suspect for 10 hours without sleep to get a confession, he will do so -- and then place the seat-cover the suspect sat on in a vacuum jar in case the miscreant should later need to be tracked by bloodhounds. At night, Captain Wiesler returns to his tiny apartment in an grubby, anonymous high-rise. He settles himself among his inexpressibly drab furniture, eats a meal squeezed out of a plastic tube while watching reports about agricultural production, and then goes to bed alone.

As Captain Wiesler listens to Dreyman and his girlfriend he begins to like them, or perhaps envy the richness and depth of their lives in comparison with his own. Perhaps he also begins to wonder why a stranger should have the right to become privy to Dreyman's most intimate secrets: his occasional impotence, his girlfriend's infidelities, his artistic crises. At the same time, though, Wiesler is under pressure: a Central Committee official has made it clear to Wiesler and his toadying supervisor Lieutenant Colonel Grubitz (Ulrich Tukur), that Dreyman has to go down.

I won't discuss more plot details, as there are unexpected twists. Each of the main characters is drawn deeper into the conflict between Dreyman and the State, and each is torqued by loyalty conflicts that intensify as the pressure increases. The cast is outstanding. Sebastian Koch finds the right combination of poetic detachment and watchful sophistication for Dreyman. Martina Gedeck, as his girlfriend, has the most challenging role, since she's buffeted from all sides: by her suspicious partner, by Stasi agents trying to turn her, and by a lecherous Culture Minister. Ulrich Mühe plays the Stasi agent's transformation with reserve, only hinting at the stages in his character's secret, but decisive, change of heart.

Director von Donnersmarck, a blue-blooded West German, has re-created the gray, drained look of the former East, and the nature of Stasi intimidation, with a fidelity that has earned the praise of East Germans. His pacing is relaxed, but doesn't drag; although there are a few longueurs, most scenes unfold at just the right pace, and there are several great set-pieces. One is a bone-rattling episode in the Stasi canteen in which a young recruit is caught telling a joke about East German premier Erich Honecker. Another is the penultimate scene, a masterstroke in which Dreyman gains access to his massive Stasi file, while reading it, suddenly understands episodes of his own life which had never made sense to him before. The ending is perfectly judged; bittersweet and moving without swelling strings or teary confessions.

Das Leben der Anderen is an outstanding movie, probably a great one. If it's not picked up for international distribution, it will be a bitter loss for thousands of potential moviegoers in other countries.
2006-05-28
Truly gripping.
This movie is definitely one of my favorite German movies ever. I visited the Hohenschönhausen prison in East-Berlin some time ago so the opening sequence of this movie really hit me in the face because I know the place and the things you see in the movie were a reality not so long ago. The actors are brilliant. The script is perfect. The sets are historically correct and give you a good impression of how it felt to live in the DDR. Not really a "feel good"-movie but a message to set the records straight about the DDR-regime and its StaSi-system. Even the difficult parts, like the fact that there are a lot of former DDR-officials who still don't have any regrets about what they did, are not skipped. A true masterpiece.
2012-01-13
Excellent film, insightful character studies
This film, set in the theater world of the mid-1980s, was particularly satisfying to me because I was a producer of avant-garde theater through the 1980s, based in San Francisco but often on tour -- including to international theater festivals in West Germany, communist Poland and communist Yugoslavia in 1987. Although my experience as an American was of course very different than the experience of these East Berliners, there is a mood and sense of personalities in this film that I found authentic and familiar. The people in this film feel like the people I met in the festival bars and refreshment centers for participating artists and on panel discussions in those festivals.

Many commenters here have noted the important character change of the Stasi agent, attributing the change either to his growing appreciation for the humanity of the playwright and the actress, or else complaining that the transformation is unpersuasive. So far as I've read in the comments, no one has focused on the key scene. When the Stasi agent hears the playwright and friends planning the suicide article to be smuggled to the West, he writes up an accurate report on this and hastens to his boss's office. Up until then, whatever sympathies he may have developed for the playwright or for the actress are inadequate to deter him.

But when the agent enters the boss's office, the boss doesn't immediately give him a chance to give the report or to say anything -- instead the boss immediately launches into a discussion of a new study analyzing how to interrogate and intimidate artists and writers. The report categorizes writers and artists into 5 basic personality types. The boss says the playwright is a "type 4." He describes how the prescribed approach to intimidate "type 4" writers will result in them losing hope and never writing again.

Only after hearing this, and realizing that his report exposing the playwright as the author of the suicide paper will result in the playwright being crushed emotionally and never even wanting to write anything new, does the Stasi agent curl up the report in his hands and decide not to give the report to his boss. The agent's precise motivation is unclear. But it cannot be merely that the agent wants the playwright to be able to continue writing new works. The agent must know that the state will never let the playwright do another play or publish anything, if the playwright's authorship of the suicide paper is known, and yet the agent was ready to expose the playwright anyway. So the agent's motive for suddenly deciding to hide his report is not merely because the state will put the playwright on a blacklist and block him from publishing or getting plays produced.

Thus it must be that the agent is motivated to change by feeling a general revulsion against the idea that the state should employ the crushing of hope, of creative spirit, as a strategy for responding to a dissenter whom the agent knows is a genuine supporter of the regime but who sees that it has flaws. It is the fact that the state will destroy the playwright's very desire to write, that causes the agent to change. It isn't clear whether the agent would draw back from inflicting that kind of punishment on any artist, even one whom he felt to be a real enemy of the state, but it is clear that he can't bring himself to inflict it on a man whom he feels is a "good" man like the playwright. And the agent believes the playwright is "good" because the playwright supports what is good about society, tries to correct what is wrong about society, is loyal even to a friend who has made powerful enemies, and treats his lover with compassion even when it appears the lover is betraying him.

And the irony -- a good irony -- is that by acting to preserve the playwright's desire to write, the agent winds up being the focus of the playwright's novel -- a novel born of a desire and drive to write that the agent himself kept the state from destroying.

Thus it seems to me that the real message of this movie is that even the most unimaginative, bland, uncreative, rigid people -- such as the Stasi agent -- should appreciate and protect the desire that drives creative people who are also "good" people to create works of art and literature.
2007-05-17
Amazing movie
Set on the 1980s and during the Cold War, "Das Leben der Anderen" tells the story of the world created by the Stasi (the internal army created by the Socialist Party) and the citizens of the GDR living in a world of repression.

The official state police, Gerd Wiesler (Ulrich Muhn), is a specialist in interrogation and is assigned the espionage case of a playwright named Georg Dreyman (Sebastian Koch).

It is for this reason (being a playwright) that he is placed under surveillance. As the investigation progresses, he unknowingly becomes aware of its own existence and limited empathy for those who follow him, taking precedence over their obedience and loyalty to the Stasi - so much so that he begins to fudge documents and lying about the events in the life of Dreyman.

"Das Leben der Anderen" is a low budget ever for a German film but it is exceptionally written capturing the essence of people's feelings at the time.

The photography is wonderful and captures a dark and drab East Germany, with its dull lighting and soft colors, perfectly illustrated the dismay of its citizens. The performances throughout the film are excellent, the best performance however for me is Ulrich Muhn. the film is a great piece of art and entertainment that should be seen by any movie lover.

My Rating - 9/10

(Original Review written May 25, 2013)
2014-09-08
A wonderful film that deserves a wide audience
I saw this film in its North American premiere in a packed theater at the Toronto Int'l Film Festival this past week and was pleased to be part of a standing ovation at the end for the director and star, who were both on hand.

"The Lives of Others," set in East Germany not long before the fall of the Berlin Wall, tells the moving story of a police investigator forced to confront himself and the work he does. In a society poisoned by secrecy, fear and the abuse of power, a number of the movie's characters -- artists, actors, writers -- must look deep inside and decide what they are made of; none more so than the investigator.

This is a movie that took me to a place and time that felt very authentic, for a tale that was very satisfying.

Ulrich Muhe, who plays the investigator, is mesmerizing, and the young director is to be applauded for this, his first full-length film. Some have compared "The Lives of Others" to Coppola's "The Conversation" but the two have completely different story arcs and are only superficially similar.

Both my companion and I felt this was our favorite of the six films we had a chance to see at the festival.
2006-09-11
Foreign cinema at its best
A really fascinating story of a world I knew little about. Well told by all players, this film is a great depiction of the human capacity for love, bravery, forgiveness and change under such a harsh regime. There is very little I can say other than you should definitely put this on your list.

Along with last year's 'Let The Right One In', 'The Lives Of Others' is an excellent example of how great films from around the world can have a broad appeal. It has further encouraged me to more frequently explore foreign cinema. I hope it does you too. Let's just hope there are no plans by Hollywood to remake this. If ever a story deserved to be told in its original form, this is it.
2011-09-03
"Tangible, atmospheric and extraordinary..."
German screenwriter and director Florian Henckel Von Donnersmarck's feature film debut which he wrote and co-produced, premiered in Berlin, was screened in the Special Presentations section at the 31st Toronto International Film Festival in 2006, was shot on locations in Berlin, Germany and is a German production which was produced by producers Max Wiedeman, Dirk Hamm and Quirin Berg. It tells the story about an officer of the secret East German police who in November 1984 is assigned by a general secretary named Anton Gribitz to surveil a writer named Georg Dreyman who lives in an apartment block with a theater actress named Christa-Marie Sieland.

Distinctly and precisely directed by German filmmaker Florian Henckel Von Donnersmarck, this finely tuned fictional tale which is narrated from multiple viewpoints, draws a consistently involving and nuanced portrayal of an author who is looking for ways to reach readers in West Germany, his popular actress girlfriend and a man who spends most of his time following his life. While notable for it's distinct and mostly interior milieu depictions, sterling production design by production designer Silke Buhr, cinematography by German cinematographer Hagen Bogdanski and brilliant editing by film editor Patricia Rommel, this dialog-driven and narrative-driven neo-noir and dense chamber-piece depicts three engaging and empathic studies of character and contains a great score by composers Gabriel Yared and Stéphane Moucha.

This political, romantic and modestly sensual thriller about surveillance and the ongoing conflicts between supporters and opponents of the dictatorship in DDR during the Cold War which is set in East Berlin and Berlin during the mid and late 1980s and the early 1990s, is impelled and reinforced by it's cogent narrative structure, substantial character development and the poignant acting performances by German actors Ulrich Mühe (1953-2007), Sebastian Koch, Ulrich Tukur and German actress Martina Gedeck. A tangible, atmospheric and extraordinary directorial debut from the early 21st century which gained, among numerous other awards, the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film at the 79th Academy Awards in 2006.
2013-02-22
See Also
📹 The Lives of Others full movie HD download 2006 - Martina Gedeck, Ulrich Mühe, Sebastian Koch, Ulrich Tukur, Thomas Thieme, Hans-Uwe Bauer, Volkmar Kleinert, Matthias Brenner, Charly Hübner, Herbert Knaup, Bastian Trost, Marie Gruber, Volker Michalowski, Werner Daehn, Martin Brambach - Germany. 📀
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