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blog about independent film and world cinema with festival reports as well

AFI Day 6 Part 2 The Lives of Others

At midday, I caught the German feature "The Lives of Others". Directed by Florian Henkel von Donnersmarck, the film is set in East Berlin during the eighties, spanning from 1984 to around 1992. It tells the story of a Stasi officer who is assigned to watch a group of artists. As he puts a prominent theatre director, Georg Dreyman and his actress wife under survellience, he is drawn more and more into their story. As the officer gets grows to empathize with the couple, he begins to look the other way to help Herr Dreyman (Ulrich Muehe) and his wife (Martina Gedeck) escape suspicion and ultimately prison.

There was a brief Q&A with the director after the film. As Florian Henkel von Donnersmarck's answers were impressively long winded, unfortunately, only a couple of people were able to ask questions. One of whom happened to be a prominent Dutch producer. --He asked quite a good question about whether or not Donnersmarck has embarked on another project. Donnersmarck replied that as he can only write in complete and utter silence, he won't even be able to think about his next project until he finishes touring the world with the film. This will apparently take him to March 2007. More about his writing in silence in a cell in monastary later.