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Drama, Thriller
IMDB rating:
Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck
Martina Gedeck as Christa-Maria Sieland
Ulrich Mühe as Hauptmann Gerd Wiesler
Sebastian Koch as Georg Dreyman
Ulrich Tukur as Oberstleutnant Anton Grubitz
Thomas Thieme as Minister Bruno Hempf
Hans-Uwe Bauer as Paul Hauser
Volkmar Kleinert as Albert Jerska
Matthias Brenner as Karl Wallner
Herbert Knaup as Gregor Hessenstein
Bastian Trost as Häftling 227
Marie Gruber as Frau Meineke
Volker Michalowski as Schriftexperte (as Zack Volker Michalowski)
Werner Daehn as Einsatzleiter in Uniform
Storyline: In the early 1980s, Georg Dreyman (a successful dramatist) and his longtime companion Christa-Maria Sieland (a popular actress), were huge intellectual stars in (former) East Germany, although they secretly don't always toe the party line. One day, the Minister of Culture becomes interested in Christa, so the secret service agent Wiesler is instructed to observe and sound out the couple, but their life fascinates him more and more.
Type Resolution File Size Codec Bitrate Format
HQ DVD-rip 720x432 px 1853 Mb 1963 Kbps mp4 Download
iPhone 640x270 px 1539 Mb h264 1562 Kbps mp4 Download
Some movies simply tell the truth - this is one.
This a movie that had to be made and must be seen by as many in the world as possible. If I were to comment much on the story, it would become overly political so I restrain. The movie is political but it says more about conflict of conscious and redemption than it does about political beliefs. A powerful story of tragedy and triumph, of greed and grace, of love and deception. It is a story about the cost of sacrifice and the cost of compromise.

The screenplay is masterfully written and and the story carefully directed. So good is the crafting and telling of the story that the movie transcends borders - any audience can appreciate it. The art direction was very well balanced and added to the emotions the story brings out. Its only obvious weakness in my opinion were the few times it lacked continuity causing the editing of some sequences to be a bit awkward.

For those who believe that government knows best and the populace needs the government to care for its needs - they need to see this movie. For those who believe in individual liberty and freedom of expression and decent at all levels - they need to see this movie.
A German Masterpiece!
A creepy and innovative political thriller, set in a shadowy period in recent German history. With a run-time of over 2 hours, the film doesn't let you take your eyes off even for a single moment

Other than Donnersmarck's brilliant direction, the movie's fascinating and morally complex characters, acted out flawlessly by the three leads, keep you involved right from the beginning.

(Note: Though there might be a few historical inaccuracies, like the Stasi security might not have been that severe in 1984 exactly, but may have existed much before it, and many others. So, the movie should be seen as a work of fiction, not some historical account.)

- Deeds done out of good intentions always pay off; even if they don't, you're free from any sort of guilt or regret which might follow if you had done it the other way -

A Must-watch!
European cinema when it is good worth every minute. The film excites from beginning to end.
A masterpiece!

European cinema when it is good worth every minute. The film excites from beginning to end. In addition to the intelligent operation and behavioral history, there is no dead time in the film, everything has a meaning, a bond and a good pace. It's very interesting the way this movie talks about the respect or not of a person's privacy and the confrontation between dictatorship and freedom of expression ...

I have to take off my hat to Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck. He has done an excellent job. Yes, we all ought to take off our hats. He is an amazing director and writer.
Life behind the Iron Curtain
If you want to know how was it to live in a so called socialist country in central/eastern Europe in the 80's, this is the movie to see. It's the most comprehensive mirror of that time period that I've ever seen. Whether the name was STB, Securitate, KGB or Stasi - in this case, the movie contains a very realistic portray of the secret police and the surveillance methods used. The movie deserves a better score, is a 9+ movie, I think some people gave it a lower score only because of the dark atmosphere, which I consider is very realistic. Ulrich Mühe, who unfortunately died in 2007, gave here one of the best portrayals of the 'watchdog', a policeman without a personal life, that lives only to spy 'other people lives'.
Beauty in the darkest of circumstances, is the most beautiful of all.
I can honestly say, this is one of the finest examples of European film. The story is so dark and heart-breaking. In the UK and Northern America, we miss out on so much fabulous cinema because it is not in English, because we are too lazy to read subtitles, or learn a foreign language, but this masterpiece, this work of art, does not disappoint.

It is not a film you enjoy. You will not call it your favourite, discuss it with your friends, or even watch it regularly. You will however be filled with the harrowing knowledge it gives to you. The awful state of affairs in GDR in the 1980s. It will rock your soul. Your very conscience. You will be gripped, unable to look away, and yet desperate to go back to the ignorance of our sheltered lives, after all, isn't it bliss?

The story follows the surveillance of a playwright and his girlfriend in 1985 in Eastern Germany, and how the Captain in charge of the operation becomes intoxicated by their lives, and as such, begins to cover up the very acts he is meant to report. It eventually ends with him preventing the playwright's arrest by hiding the evidence that would have him convicted. The evidence in question a type writer that wrote an article that uncovered the policy in Eastern Germany of no longer recording suicides. The information on where this typewriter was hidden came from the girlfriend of the playwright. She kills herself, overcome by guilt, only for the captain to have already removed the evidence. The ending of the film, several years later sees the Playwright review the files on the surveillance operation on him in a united Germany and he discovers the work of the Captain who had in many ways help conceal the evidence. He finds out who he is and tracks him down. He sees him but he does not approach him. We then see the Captain who is now a postman of some kind walk past a book shop with the playwright's photograph and novel in the window. He goes in and opens a copy to see that is devoted to him. His code name. He buys a copy and the cashier asks him if he'd like it gift- wrapped. He replies: "No, it's for me."

It is the most beautiful ending to a film I have ever seen.
Ghost In The Machine
Spoilers Ahead:

Why should you watch this movie? For two main reasons: 1. To get a taste of what it was like to live in the Worker's Paradise and be a bug under a microscope for the Stasi or Secret Police. 2. To see that within every human soul, however corrupt or evil, there remains a tiny spark of nobility waiting to be rekindled. The movie begins with Hauptmann lecturing his class on how to torture suspects with sleep deprivation and incessant, repetitive questioning. When a student temerariously dares to object to his cruelty, watch him look at him like an annoying, dangerous insect and circle his name on the seating chart. His boss has a job for him, unbeknownst to both of them, the corpulent Party boss has a hankering for a local playwright's girlfriend. Of course, it is all cloaked in Party B.S.: He must be a subversive, if you prove he is, up the ladder you will go. Hauptmann, suspicious of everyone, agrees, he knows the 'intellectual type' is always disloyal and consents to setting up a surveillance system in the couple's apartment. Two scenes are so great at conveying what it is to be a prisoner in your own country. The first, the neighbor woman, across from the couple's apartment looks out of her peep hole and sees the monitoring work being set up. Hauptmann pounces on her, banging violently on her door,"You tell anyone what you have seen and you will be arrested. Be sure to reward her for her cooperation."

My favorite is a tiny, little boy in the elevator with Hauptmann; he tells him that his father says the Stasi are evil, he is maybe five or six. Hauptmann gets out his notebook,"What is your father's name please?" The movie follows the surveillance and Hauptmann's movie long slow awakening that his master is a disgusting, obese reprobate who lusts after the playwright's girlfriend. As the movie progresses, we see Hauptman concealing more and more of the resistance activities Dreyman is up to with his little opposition cell. At first, his wife accedes to the slime's overtures but watch for the tragic consequences when she dares to reject him. I will not lie to you, the movie is a tragedy; worse than that, the villain of the movie emerges unscathed and happily indifferent to all the suffering he caused. Yet, as you watch this great film, you will see what it was to live in a country that was like being on a slide under the government's microscope. Dreyman's fellow playwright who dared to write something that offended the Party is cast out forever. Eventually he commits suicide, who can blame him?

The main theme hidden within this treasure is how within the monster that Hauptmann is, on the surface, he begins to love Christa and have compassion for her. This doesn't happen overnight; it is a slow, film long transformation. Only at the tragic ending does his boss figure out what has been going on due to Hauptmann's impeccable reputation. The emptiness of his life as he comes home, turns on the propaganda and has sex with a prostitute; this is all done without dialog purely visually, like Leone or Kubrick. Yes, the monster begins to slowly thaw and awaken to the horrors of the Stasi and the prison camp of East Germany. Watch for the scene where, in the cafeteria, some worker makes a joke about the President of East Germany. The delineation of what it was like to be a slave to the Party is worth owning this movie for but my favorite part of it is showing the existential redemption of Hauptmann. He sees, finally, what it is that he does: destroying people for the Party.

It is a very bleak, sad, tragic, little treasure. Koch does his usual excellent job of acting. It is simply the best German movie I have ever watched. Within the darkness of this monster, there is one small ray of light that grows beyond his control. Existential Sunrise, My Friends.

"Darkness Cannot Drive Out Darkness Only Light Can Do That; Hate Cannot Drive Out Hate Only Love Can Do That." Martin Luther King
Terrific screenplay and solid performances for a powerfully gripping drama
It is the second time I have seen this movie. When I first saw it I remember feeling upset by the idea that just a little more than 20 years ago, in the heart of a civilized and enlightened Europe, there dominated such cultural repression and such terroristic means of questioning. Not that history of the former DDR was unknown to me, but probably because undeveloped at school, or probably because a little disregarded also by cinematography, it was rather upsetting. On a second watching, having assimilated the strong impact of the first one, I could better analyze the quality of the movie from a cinematographic point of view, and really appreciate it. It has a solid structure which makes every shot perfectly match with the whole, and contributes to an overall clear, lucid and perfectly built drama. The story proceeds with a quick pace, each scene is the preparation for the next one, everything is under control and follows a well marked and gripping path. The cast is simply outstanding: the actress playing Christa Maria is truly convincing in showing her deep inner laceration between her love for the stage and her love for Georg, the handsome and attractive dramatist, who knows where the right side lies, but finds it hard to assert it explicitly. But who leaves the most emotionally powerful mark is Ulrich Muhe interpreting Wiesler: he stirs thought and emotion, he is so dramatically contained, as his character requires, but, in a single hint at a smile (whe he reads Brecht's poems), conveys such a desperate yearning for true life, I think an Oscar deserving interpretation. In the end, a movie I would absolutely advise: it is intelligently thought-provoking, intellectually honest, and solidly built: a high-level piece of cinema. Really worth seeing.
It's for me ...
People, who will choose this movie, should be aware that it is quite real and would provoke quite different feeling, because in my opinion, it is not for ones, who didn't care about the history or actually stand on the opposite benches of some political river. First of all, the movie is not about freedom, but about choices and transitions. It is a very seldom example of hailing and in the same time terrifying the human and not ideas or systems. Simply it is about the Good man and about bad Stasi or DDR. Actually, there is no any innocent in the movie and it's the most absolute recognition that innocent, being not there, being illusion, finally appears in our changing and transitioning, recognizing the value of the others, experiencing their falling down, accelerated by believes, passions and fools and of course viewing yourself through this lens. I strongly believe that the beauty of the is movie is that actually went beyond the script (non intentionally). The play of the actors is breathtaking and will recommend to listen the movie in original (if you can) than the last phrase is so German and dubious...
Sonata for a Good Man
Artists watching this will shudder at the callousness of politicians and at how little they mean to government, unless the all-mighty entity decides they need something from you. What could that be? Your loyalty, your voice, or possibly your girlfriend or to shut your voice down when they care to. When that has been decided, no action is too grotesque. NSA hating liberals will simply see this as a universal film to justify their cause against humanity. I used to say that as long as I have nothing to hide, why should I care? We all have our agendas, apolar from Gods' will. What a sad existence our characters found themselves in as East Germany was artistic quicksand. This touching film allows us inside each persons mentality from disgusting politician to bully spy to idealistic writer to actress subservient to her desire to perform to the career saving autocrat who carried out the "business" at hand. Each is powerful but none are in true "concert". This is why to break the stalemate created by selfish leadership, it all begins with one good man.
Powerful and Brilliant
This movie is a brilliant piece of work. A powerful original screenplay, that is well acted and directed. Provides a bleak window into the DDR and how the government controlled the lives of their artists and those that supported them.

Frankly, I went to see this movie because it won an Oscar. As foreign film Oscar winners generally tend to be a good show. This was beyond expectations.

Ulrich Mühe puts on a compelling performance as a state security police agent. Sebastian Koch is equally impressive.

I highly recommend you make your way out to the film festival theater that is showing this movie. You will be amazed.
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