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August 21, 2007

DVD of the Week – The Lives of Others (2006)


The Lives of Others will probably be best known as the film that beat Pan’s Labyrinth for Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars. They are both great films, and although Pan’s Labyrinth might be more groundbreaking, this is a well-made drama about the Stasi (East German secret police) during the height of the Cold War.

The real standout in the film is Ulrich Mühe, who plays a Stasi officer tasked to investigate a playwright, who lives a life of passion, or as passionate a life as East Germany will allow. The Stasi officer slowly and subtly gets moved eavesdropping on a life that is everything his is not. Unfortunately, Mühe passed away a month ago, but at least he was introduced to a world-wide audience in this fine film.

The DVD features a commentary and interview with director Florian Henckel Von Donnersmarck, as well as a making of featurette and deleted scenes.

Original Commentary Track review by Rishi Agrawal.

Other new releases this week: Broken English, The Ex, Perfect Stranger, Redline, The Ultimate Gift