Rating: R for violence, language and mature themes. In German with English subtitles
Run Time: 2 hours, 17 minutes
Henckel von Donnersmarck (say it ten times fast) crafts an intensely personal
drama about the nightmarish years of
The German Democratic Republic circa 1984 is still a place of exploitation and evil. Loyal dramatist Georg Dreyman (Sebastian Koch) is the darling of the regime, churning out cultural hits while others of his ilk are shunned or worse.
Such political allegiance isn’t above suspicion according to Stasi officer Gerd Wiesler (Ulrich Mühe), whose unwavering belief in his country’s political philosophy clouds his judgment and steeps him in paranoia. Thus when the ruthless Secret Police officer attends a performance of Dreyman’s new play he determines to expose the chinks in the playwright’s socialist armor.
Wiesler bugs Dreyman’s apartment and sets up shop on the floor above, his listening post a solitary and voyeuristic sanctuary. When Wiesler discovers that Dreyman’s popular actress girlfriend Christa-Maria Sieland (Martina Gedeck) is also the plaything of a powerful government minister he takes matters into his own hands.
scathing indictment of
not the wistful look at the