Sebastian Koch as the writer Georg Dreyman in “The Lives of Others”: Art, beauty, and love have the power to change a life
The movie “The Lives of Others” is set in East Germany in the mid-1980s, five years before the fall of the Berlin Wall. A Stasi captain who has essentially lost his humanity rediscovers it as he spies on a writer and his actress girlfriend. The captain experiences people for whom art is something natural –- a central, beautiful and normal part of their lives -- and it changes him. This is a movie worth seeing (I went at the insistence of my mother). A musical score by the Lebanese composer Gabriel Yared (he also wrote the scores for The English Patient and Cold Mountain), “Sonata for a Good Man,” sets the mood.
In the film, each character asks questions that we confront every day: how do we deal with power and ideology? Do we follow our principles or our feelings? More than anything else, “The Lives of Others” is a human drama about the ability of human beings to do the right thing, no matter how far they have gone down the wrong path.
-- Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck (Writer & Director of The Lives of Others, Academy Award winner best Foreign Language picture)