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Year: 2006
USA: Sony Pictures Classics
UK: Lionsgate Films UK
UK DVD: Lionsgate Home Entertainment
Cast: Martina Gedeck, Ulrich Muhe, Sebastian Koch, Ulrich Turur, Thomas Thieme, Hans-Uwe Bauer, Volkmar Kleinert, Matthias Brenner, Thomas Arnold, Ludwig Blochberger, Marie Gruber, Hinnerk Schönemann, Charly Hubner, Herbert Knaup, Werner Daehn, Volker Michalowski, Paul Maximilian Schuller, Bastian Trost, Klaus Munster
Director: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck
Country: Germany
Language: German (English subtitles)
USA: 137 mins
UK: 138 mins
USA Rated: R for some sexuality/nudity
UK Certificate: 15 contains strong sex
USA Release Date: 9 February 2007 (Limited Release - New York and Los Angeles)
UK Release Date: 13 April 2007
UK DVD Release Date: 17 September 2007

UK Distributor


Set in East Berlin in 1984, THE LIVES OF OTHERS is a political thriller and begins five years before Glasnost and the fall of the Berlin Wall and moves through to 1991 in what is now the reunited Germany. It traces the gradual disillusionment of Captain Gerd Wiesler (Ulrich Muhe), a loyal Stasi officer of East Germany's secret police and an expert interrogator. He is given the job of collecting evidence against the famous playwright Georg Dreyman (Sebastian Koch) who is married to the stunning actress Christa-Maria Sieland (Martina Gedeck) when Minister Bruno Hempf (Thomas Thieme) doubts the successful playwright's loyalty to the SED, the ruling Socialist Unity Party.

Initially Weisler's observations show Dreyman does not display any disloyalty for the GDR but his position slowly changes as he discovers that Christa-Maria has been pressured into a sexual relationship with Minister Hempf. When his close friend, theater director Albert Jerska (Volkmar Kleinert) is driven to suicide after seven years of unofficial "blacklisting" by the government, Dreyman can no longer remain silent about the GDR and begins a plot to publish an article with the famous West German publication Der Spiegel, exposing the GDR's policy of covering up the high suicide rates under the regime.

This sets in motion a chain of events as Wiesler, who from his surveillance now has the proof he needs to destroy his subject, is unwilling to disclose it to his superiors and brings into question his impartiality as an agent. When the anti-GDR article is published the regime is thoroughly embarrassed and Dreyman is one of the prime suspects.

Wiesler's superiors can't understand why their trustworthy agent failed to uncover the plot and he must now decide where his allegiances lie. Given the task of interrogating Christa-Maria who is now in the custody of the secret police Wiesler knows that if he does not extract the information from her his life and his career as an elite Stasi officer will undoubtedly be over. If he succeeds, Dreyman's fate will be sealed...


The Making of The Lives of Others
Interviews with Cast and Crew
Audio Commentary by Writer / Director
Deleted Scenes
Extended Scenes
Original Stasi spying instruments photo gallery
Language: German (English subtitles)
Original aspect ratio: 16 x 9, 2.35 (Original Ratio)

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