The Lives of Others (Das Leben der Anderen) is a German movie that won the Oscar for Best Foreign Film in 2006. The movie is set in East Germany, a few years before the fall of the Berlin wall.
A writer Georg Dreyman (Sebastian Koch) and his girlfriend Christa-Maria Sieland (Martina Gedeck), a famous actress, are put under the scanner by the East German secret police, the Stasi. This is done on the behest of a party leader, who is infatuated with Christa-Maria, and wants to find something to use against the writer.
The agent assigned to the case Gerd Wiesler (Ulrich Mühe) bugs the apartment and sets up a listening post. As he starts listening, he is drawn into the lives the writer and his girlfriend are leading. The pressure on Wiesler and his boss to find incriminating evidence and the risks taken by the writer lead to a turn of events that is dramatic and gripping.
The movies script keeps you on the edge, creating a nervous tension that makes you wonder what will happen next. Writer and director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck does brilliantly to provide an almost surreal and dream-like feel to the movie. All the actors portrayed their roles beautifully though the star of the movie for me was Ulrich Mühe who played Gerd Wiesler. His demeanour and almost cold, unfeeling-like portrayal was superbly done.
The Lives of Others is a movie about the choices we make in our lives and the consequences of those choices. It is a superb movie that you should not miss.