Monday, September 24, 2007

The Lives of Others

If you’re one of those people who thinks government wire-tapping is no big thing, that “they can listen to all my calls or read all my emails because I don’t have anything to hide,” you should watch the Academy Award-winning movie “The Lives Of Others.” In societies with rampant snooping and government monitoring of personal lives and views, it is easy to plant incriminating evidence on anyone for any reason, as this movie shows in frightening fashion.

The German movie is set in East Germany during the gray years of Communism in the 1980s and the Secret Police, known as the Stasi. As a member of the Stasi watches the home of an artist the government is seeking to frame, the bureaucrat undergoes and enormously fascinating evolution. “The Lives Of Others” shows what happens when debate and art and literature are largely absent, even banned, from a society. It’s one of the best movies I’ve seen in some time -- and the 2006 movie is now out on DVD.

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