Sunday, 4/15 ... Even tho I realize that my filmic tastes are not exactly mainstream and most probably not in synch with most of yours ... I do want to pass along a powerful filmic experience I had this afternoon at my local Laemmle:
Title: "The Lives of Others" ... a German flick (subtitled), written and directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck ... and released via Sony Pictures Classic.
It isn't often nowadays, that a new motion picture has a shattering effect on me ... but this one sure did.
The story takes place in pre-reunification (Communist) East Germany ... with endings in the post-reunification period ... and it deals with the stirrings of unrest in Red Germany ... and the Stasi days .... the main characters: a playwrite .... his stage actress girlfriend ... and several high Stasi operators, including one who's beginning to waver.
The film has been a huge success in Europe ... has won a number of major awards. I should also note, that you find the sociopolitical content running against your grain. (But, then, this note/review is being written by a 78-year-old German-born/raised Jew, whose life was saved by the fact that among my Leipzig/city health official dad's secret dermatological/venereal disease patients, were a number of pre-WW2 high-level city/police officials who had failed to take precautions against contraction of syph and the clap ...)
As some of you know, I've always had deept emotional and intellectual dichotomies, when it came to my relationships with Germany ... and this film sort of underlines those personal divisions and attitudes. They can't be erased, because of the deaths and the ultimate personal effects they had on my parents and me. There's something special - perhaps you say "weird" - in the makeup of our rapidly dying genereation. Just this week, I saw a TV documentary report, that included new facts and figures on the current growth of anti-Semitism in Germany (and elsewhere in Euope) ... so I guess we're going full circle.
Anyway ... you could do worse than going out of your way to see this German film - "The Lives of Others".
gary s franklin