After many recommendations, I finally saw The Lives Of Others yesterday. One reason I had put it off was because no one would say what it was about or why it was a must see. After seeing it, I understand. Just get this movie. I watched it through the video on demand feature with our Fios service.
Adjectives such as stunning, breathtaking, and touching come to mind but don't do The Lives Of Others justice. It's attention to detail is unmatched. It does for East Germany pre-glasnost what Saving Private Ryan did for D-day. It's something everyone heard about but couldn't understand without living through it. This movie takes you into the lives of comrades who believed in the socialist system and naively thought in being faithful to it, it could never harm them. But the same dishonesty and corruption that can plague any form of government catches up with the true believers.
The Lives Of Others is acted by East German players who lived in fear of the Stasi in our lifetime. It is directed by a man whose parents were both East Berliners and had relatives in the Stasi. He spent one and half years researching and speaking to former Stasi agents and victims before writing the screenplay. What he found is the GDR of 1949-1989 with a government informed by Marxism-Leninism and molded by class warfare.
The Lives Of Others should serve as a cautionary tale to all who think that a socialist form of "philosophy" and government is harmless and non-threatening. Every time you hear the phrase "tax the wealthy to pay for _____" you're hearing class warfare spoken and apathy is the greatest threat to our republic and liberty.
The Lives Of Others has won the Academy Award for best foreign film, Best Picture, Screenwriter, and Actor awards for European Film Awards, and Best Foreign Film from Los Angeles Film Critic Awards.