The Lives of Others

My sister told me this was a film not to miss, and Saturday night, Anjie and I finally sat down to watch The Lives of Others.   This gorgeous film is the story of the German Democratic Republic’s surveillance of their own citizens in the years before the wall came down.   It’s 1984 East Berlin, and an officer of the Stasi, the GDR’s strong-armed national security team, is given an assignment: spy on a prominent playwright in hopes of catching him in subversive activity.  As the officer–Wiesler by name–listens in to the private life of this playwright and his lover, a prominent actress, his heart opens to the world in a stunningly-played rebirth of spirit that proves costly.  It is a quiet film that insinuated itself into my heart before I knew it.  It challenged me to pay attention, to stay engaged with beauty, and to answer the call for justice even in the face of personal loss and sacrifice.

The power of our lives to impact others, and their power to impact us–it comes even as we live in our privacy.  As Stephen Sondheim says in Into the Woods, “No one is alone.  You move just a finger, say the slightest word, something’s bound to linger, be heard.”

The Lives of Others…a great film…

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