The Life of Others / Das Leben der Anderen
Watch the trailer
Directed by: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck
Script: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck
Producer: Quirin Berg, Max Wiedemann
Cinematography: Hagen Bogdanski
Editing: Patricia Rommel
Music: Gabriel Yared, Stéphan Moucha
Cast: Martina Gedeck, Ulrich Muehe, Sebastian Koch, Ulrich Tukur
Format: 35mm, COL
Running time: 137'
Henckel-Donnersmarck’s debut film deals with the obsession of the former Eastern Block countries – surveying, monitoring, spying. We are in East Berlin, it is November 1984. Five years before the fall of the East German Government, it is trying to stabilize its shaky position and earn itself some power by enhancing already merciless system of control over its citizens. Minister of Culture of the time is amazed by popular actress Christa-Maria Sieland and he orders a junior party officer to monitor her and her long time partner, drama writer George Dreyman. However, his partner on the mission, Gerd Wiesler, becomes fascinated by the life of the two artists not believing that something like love, art, freedom of thought and speech … is possible at all. Initial disbelief turns into a fatal attraction.
This tense thriller with best German actors and actresses won everything it could at national film award ceremonies.
Bavarian Film Awards 2005: Best Actor, Best New Director/Writer, VGF Award
German Films Awards 2006: Best Film, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Camera, Best Script Locarno International Film Festival 2006, Audience Award.
Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck was born in Colon, Germany, in 1973, but he grew up in New York, Berlin, Frankfurt and Brussels. He graduated Russian Studies from the National Institute in Leningrad (today St. Petersburg), and Political Studies, Philosophy and Economy from Oxford. He studied directing at the Academy of TV and Film in Munich. Prior to the feature film we are watching in the competition program of ZFF he made five shorts ('Midnight' (1996), For the Rest of Our Lives (1997), Dobermann (1999), The Crusader (2001), What the Witness Saw (2002).
Location and screening schedule:
matinee: Kino SC, Tuesday, October 17th at 11.00
premiere: Kino SC, Tuesday, October 17th at 22.30
reprisal: Kino Europa, Wednesday, October 18th at 16.00