Trivia - The Lives of Others (2006)
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The Lives of Others (2006)

Country: Germany

Genres: Drama, Thriller

Taglines: Where power is absolute, nothing is private. [Scandinavian Blu-ray.]

Director: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck

Writers: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck

Stars: Martina Gedeck, Ulrich Mühe, Sebastian Koch, Ulrich Tukur, ...

Gerd Wiesler is an officer with the Stasi, the East German secret police. The film begins in 1984 when Wiesler attends a play written by Georg Dreyman, who is considered by many to be the ultimate example of the loyal citizen. Wiesler has a gut feeling that Dreyman can't be as ideal as he seems and believes surveillance is called for. The Minister of Culture agrees but only later does Wiesler learn that the Minister sees Dreyman as a rival and lusts after his partner Christa-Maria. The more time he spends listening in on them, the more he comes to care about them. The once rigid Stasi officer begins to intervene in their lives, in a positive way, protecting them whenever possible. Eventually, Wiesler activities catch up to him and while there is no proof of wrongdoing, he finds himself in menial jobs - until the unbelievable happens.
The entire budget of the film, about 2 million dollars (1.6 million Euro), was possible only because the actors were willing to work for 20% of their customary salary.
In a book describing the background story of this movie, Ulrich Mühe accused his ex-wife Jenny Gröllmann of being an unofficial agent for the East German secret service ("Staatsicherheit").
Ranked 2nd best film of 2007 by Empire magazine, narrowly missing the top spot to The Bourne Ultimatum (2007).
The film set a record in 2006 for getting the most nominations (11) for the German Film Awards ever.
The Brecht poem that Wiesler reads is called "Erinnerung an die Marie A.".
The film was rejected by Dieter Kosslick and his selection jury for Berlinale '06 competition.
The cover of the prop Der Spiegel magazine featuring the Dreyman article was designed by the publication specifically for the film.
According to Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck's commentary on the deleted scene of the prostitute at Wiesler's apartment, he auditioned real prostitutes for the part, until finally casting body painter Gabi Fleming.
Four actors from the film: Sebastian Koch, Ulrich Mühe, Ulrich Tukur and Hinnerk Schönemann appeared in Amen. (2002).
Although it was very common for national flags and coats of arms of the former GDR to be placed almost anywhere in public places and institutions, not a single one was shown throughout the whole movie. Except one artistic representation of the CoA, with t
Nicolette Krebitz auditioned for the role of Christa, which eventually went to Martina Gedeck.
Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck:  Heard on the letter opener's radio earpiece, announcing the fall of the Berlin Wall.
The letter-opener that informs Wiesler that the Berlin Wall is open near the end of the film is the same Stasi officer that tells the joke about Honecker in the cafeteria near the beginning of the film (Unterleutnant Axel Stiegler).
Ironically, at the end of the film, years after the Berlin Wall is torn down, Wiesler buys a copy of Dreyman's new book at the Karl Marx Buchhandlung, translation: Karl Marx Bookstore.
In 2006 the film was turned down by Dieter Kosslick and his selection jury for the Berlin International Film Festival.
First feature film directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck.
Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.
Four actors from this film appeared in Amen. (2002): Sebastian Koch, Ulrich Mühe, Ulrich Tukur and Hinnerk Schönemann.
Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck: Heard on the letter opener's radio earpiece, announcing the fall of the Berlin Wall.
All the listening/recording props used in the film are actual Stasi equipment on loan from museums and collectors. The props master had himself spent two years in a Stasi prison and insisted upon absolute authenticity down to the machine used at the end o
The punchline of the joke that Grubitz tells in the cafeteria, about there being no difference between Honecker and a telephone, is a play on the words 'aufhängen' and 'neuwählen'. In terms of a telephone it means hang up and redial, respectively. In term
Director Donnersmarck spent a month translating the screenplay into French and sending it to Gabriel Yared to entice his participation as composer for the film. For the scene in which Dreyman plays the Sonata For A Good Man on piano, Donnersmarck asked Ya
Although it was very common for national flags and coats of arms of the former GDR to be placed almost anywhere in public places and institutions, not a single one was shown throughout the whole movie (except for one artistic representation of the CoA, wi
The German DVD of this film was recalled due to some statements director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck made in his audio commentary about the alleged activities of politician Gregor Gysi and actress Jenny Gröllmann as unofficial agents (IM) for the "St
Ulrich Mühe, who plays Stasi-officer Wiesler, lived in East-Germany as a stage actor during the period depicted in the movie. Just like Dreyman at the end, Mühe once read his personal Stasi file, and found out that some of his fellow actors had been (invo