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Plot, Details & Awards

The Lives of Others

Rated R for some sexuality/nudity.

R In Theaters 02/9/2007 , 138min.
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Plot & Details

A man who has devoted his life to ferreting out "dangerous" characters is thrown into a quandary when he investigates a man who poses no threat in this drama, the first feature from German filmmaker Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck. It's 1984, and Capt. Gerd Wiesler (Ulrich Mühe) is an agent of the Stasi, the East German Secret Police. Weisler carefully and dispassionately investigates people who might be deemed some sort of threat to the state. Shortly after Weisler's former classmate, Lt. Col. Grubitz (Ulrich Tukur), invites him to a theatrical piece by celebrated East German playwright Georg Dreyman (Sebastian Koch), Minister Bruno Hempf (Thomas Thieme) informs Weisler that he suspects Dreyman of political dissidence, and wonders if this renowned patriot is all that he seems to be. As it turns out, Hempf has something of an ulterior motive for trying to pin something on Dreyman: a deep-seated infatuation with Christa-Maria Sieland (Martina Gedeck), Dreyman's girlfriend. Nevertheless, Grubitz, who is anxious to further his career, appoints Weisler to spy on the gentleman with his help. Weisler plants listening devices in Dreyman's apartment and begins shadowing the writer. As Weisler monitors Dreyman's daily life, however (from a secret surveillance station in the gentleman's attic), he discovers the writer is one of the few East Germans who genuinely believes in his leaders. This changes over time, however, as Dreyman discovers that Christa-Maria is being blackmailed into a sexual relationship with Hempf, and one of Dreyman's friends, stage director Albert Jerska (Volkmar Kleinert), is driven to suicide after himself being blackballed by the government. Dreyman's loyalty thus shifts away from the East German government, and he anonymously posts an anti-establishment piece in a major newspaper which rouses the fury of government officials. Meanwhile, Weisler becomes deeply emotionally drawn into the lives of Dreyman and Sieland, and becomes something of an anti-establishment figure himself, embracing freedom of thought and expression. A major box-office success in Germany, Das Leben der Anderen (aka The Lives of Others) received its North American premiere at the 2006 Toronto Film Festival.

Awards

Academy Awards

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
2006 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Foreign Film Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck Won

British Academy of Film and Television Arts

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
2007 British Academy of Film and Television Arts Best Director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck Nominated
2007 British Academy of Film and Television Arts Best Picture Quirin Berg Nominated
2007 British Academy of Film and Television Arts Best Actor Ulrich Mühe Nominated
2007 British Academy of Film and Television Arts Best Original Screenplay Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck Nominated
2007 British Academy of Film and Television Arts Best Foreign Language Film Quirin Berg Nominated
2007 British Academy of Film and Television Arts Best Foreign Language Film Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck Nominated
2007 British Academy of Film and Television Arts Best Foreign Language Film Max Wiedemann Nominated
2007 British Academy of Film and Television Arts Best Picture Max Wiedemann Nominated

Golden Globes

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
2006 Hollywood Foreign Press Association Best Foreign Language Film Nominated

Toronto International Film Festival

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
2006 Toronto International Film Festival Film Presented Nominated

Berlin International Film Festival

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
2007 Berlin International Film Festival Film Presented Nominated

British Academy of Film and Television Arts

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
2007 British Academy of Film and Television Arts Best Director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck Nominated
2007 British Academy of Film and Television Arts Best Picture Quirin Berg Nominated
2007 British Academy of Film and Television Arts Best Actor Ulrich Mühe Nominated
2007 British Academy of Film and Television Arts Best Original Screenplay Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck Nominated
2007 British Academy of Film and Television Arts Best Foreign Language Film Quirin Berg Nominated
2007 British Academy of Film and Television Arts Best Foreign Language Film Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck Nominated
2007 British Academy of Film and Television Arts Best Foreign Language Film Max Wiedemann Nominated
2007 British Academy of Film and Television Arts Best Picture Max Wiedemann Nominated

Independent Spirit Awards

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
2006 Independent Spirit Awards Best Foreign Film Won

London Film Festival

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
2006 London Film Festival Film Presented Nominated

New York Film Critics Circle

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
2007 New York Film Critics Circle Best Foreign Film Won

New York Film Critics Online

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
2007 New York Film Critics Online Best Foreign Film Won

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