The Resource The lives of others, a film by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, (videorecording DVD)

The lives of others, a film by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, (videorecording DVD)

The lives of others
The lives of others
Statement of responsibility
a film by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck
Title variation
Leben der Anderen
  • ger
  • eng
  • ger
  • "A potent narrative about the transformative effect of involvement in other people's stories, 'The Lives Of Others' turns its own story into a python-tight embrace of nuanced tension and emotional connection. It convincingly demonstrates that when done right, moral and political quandaries can be the most intensely dramatic dilemmas of all. Director Von Donnersmarck has set his film in the East Germany of 1984, five years before the Berlin Wall collapsed. It was a time when the terrifying Stasi, the secret police, made it their business to use an extensive network of spies and surveillance to know every secret thing about their citizens. Unlike other German films, most notably 2004's landmark 'Goodbye, Lenin', nostalgia is far from Von Donnersmarck's thoughts. Instead this is an inside look at how a surveillance society, set up to discover and prey upon human weakness, has the ability to make everyone a potential suspect and destroy everything it touches
  • "'The Lives of Others' does all this beautifully, but it is too well-acted a film, too meticulously plotted and carefully directed, to be satisfied with that alone. It's also finally too smart to be content with telling anything like a familiar story. Instead it places its key characters in high-stakes predicaments where what they are forced to wager is their talent, their very lives, even their souls. Introduced first is Stasi Capt. Gerd Wiesler (immaculately played by Ulrich Muhe), someone we recognize, or think we do, as one of the worst of the worst, a soulless servant of the state shown both interrogating an overmatched prisoner and passing on his manipulative techniques to the next generation of secret police. Bruno Hempf, a high-ranking powerful minister with a wandering eye, and used to exploiting his position to eliminate rivals in politics or love, takes a fancy to Christa-Maria Sieland (Martina Gedeck), a beautiful, popular and very attractive actress
  • "She is living with one of the country's most popular - and loyal - playwrights, Georg Dreyman (Sebastian Koch). However, the couple's apparently safe little world is about to be turned upside down, when Hempf puts Wiesler - the Zen master of surveillance techniques, a man who wouldn't hesitate to wiretap his own mother - on the job. With Wiesler dispassionately listening in, we get to know the playwright and his actress better, get to see their worries about being able to do meaningful work in a restrictive society. When you wiretap as conscientiously as Wiesler, you learn all sorts of things, perhaps even things you weren't supposed to know. He gathers information that hints at unsuspected motives behind the wiretapping. He also comes to increasingly empathize with the couple he spends so much time eavesdropping on, leading to complex and shattering results
  • "As 'The Lives of Others' intricate plot unfolds and the acting takes hold in the most vivid way, as the line between survival and self-destruction becomes hard to see, the story's protagonists play increasingly dangerous double and triple games with each other. When the cracks begin to show, Wiesler's loneliness grows, and the hollowness inside his heart practically explodes. His journey toward self-awareness is fascinating, inspiring, even empowering." --Hopscotch
Awards note
  • Winner, Oscar (Academy Awards), 2007: Best Foreign Language Film of the Year.
  • Academy Award Winner, 2007: Best Foreign Language Film.
Cataloging source
Credits note
Written & directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck
Dewey number
Intended audience
  • NZ rating: M - Suitable for mature audiences 16 years and over. Note: Contains sex scenes
  • Film rating: M. Suitable for mature audiences 16 years and over. Note: Contains sex scenes
  • Suitable for mature audiences 16 years and over. Contains sex scenes
  • M - Suitable for mature audiences 16 years and over. NOTE: Contains sex scenes
  • Rated M: Suitable for mature audiences 16 years and over. Note: Contains sex scenes
  • NZ Rating M: Suitable for mature audiences 16 years and over. Note: Sex scenes
  • MPAA rating: M
Language note
  • In German (Dolby 5.1) with embedded English subtitles
  • In German (Dolby 5.1) with English subtitles
  • Martina Gedeck, Ulrich Mühe, Sebastian Koch, Ulrich Tukur
  • Martina Gedeck, Ulrich Muhe, Sebastian Koch, Ulrich Tukur
  • Ulrich M
Target audience
live action
The lives of others, a film by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, (videorecording DVD)
The lives of others, a film by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, (videorecording DVD)
  • Originally released as a motion picture in 2006
  • Special features: the making of 'The lives of others' ; feature audio commentary ; deleted scenes with audio commentary
Related Contributor
Related Location
Related Agents
Related Authorities
Related Subjects
Carrier category
Carrier category code
Carrier MARC source
Configuration of playback channels
quadrophonic multichannel or surround
Content category
two-dimensional moving image
Content type code
Content type MARC source
Control code
4 3/4 in.
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1 videodisc (DVD) (134 min.)
Isbn Type
Media category
Media MARC source
Media type code
Medium for sound
Other control number
  • 9398710732498
  • 9321337137803
Other physical details
sd., col.
Publisher number
  • HOP0229
  • R-107324-9
  • 40744SD0
Sound on medium or separate
sound on medium
Specific material designation
Stock number
System control number
  • (Sirsi) WAI121388
  • (AuCNLKIN)000042117599
  • (OCoLC)182524302
  • (Nz)11584068
System details
  • DVD9 ; 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen ; encoded for region 4 ; PAL
  • DVD9 ; 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen ; region 4 ; PAL
  • DVD9 ; encoded for region 4 ; PAL
Video recording format

Library Locations

    • Queenstown LibraryBorrow it
      10 Gorge Road, Queenstown, 9300, NZ
      -45.0289766 168.6616516
    • Wanaka LibraryBorrow it
      Bullock Creek Dunmore Street, Wanaka, 9305, NZ
      -44.6957808 169.1356242
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