Archive of films The Lives of Others / Das Leben der Anderen

2006, 137 min

Section: 20 Years of Freedom
Year: 2009

East Germany in the mid 1980s. For personal reasons, a loyal secret police agent becomes frustrated with his spying assignment. This political thriller with a romantic subplot won an Oscar, a European Film Award, and numerous Audience Awards at festivals around the world.


East Berlin, November 1984. The ruling party has built up an uncompromising system of espionage and surveillance over the inhabitants of a country that prohibits the free fulfillment of the most intimate desires. With goodwill and true conviction, Capt. Gerd Wiesler, an officer devoted to the regime, accepts an assignment to spy on dramatist Georg Dreyman and his girlfriend, celebrated actress Christa-Maria Sieland. Newly ascertained circumstances of the case, however, unexpectedly place Wiesler on the other side of the fence. The protagonist’s lifelong priorities are at stake, as is his safety. The crux of the film lies not only in the fact that Wiesler is trapped among his listening devices without anyone to talk to, but mainly that each spoken word can mean ruin. What are the chances of surviving and fulfilling one’s dreams under a regime whose offers can’t be refused? And can one ever find peace in an atmosphere of fear and constant suspicion?

About the director

Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck (b. 1973, Cologne, Germany) moved to New York with his family as a two-year-old, returning to West Berlin in 1981. He studied in Leningrad and at Oxford University, and after a period of intensive practical study in film direction with Richard Attenborough, he was admitted to the prestigious directing class at the Academy of Film and Television in Munich. His short film Dobermann (1999) was a great success, winning at several student film festivals. In 2002 he shot the short What the Witness Saw for Universal Studios. The Lives of Others, his debut feature, took European Film Awards (Best Film, Best Script), and a BAFTA, César, and Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. He is currently working on The 28th Amendment.


Bontonfilm, a.s.
Na Poříčí 1047/26, 110 00, Praha 1
Czech Republic
Tel: +420 257 415 111
Fax: +420 257 415 113

Beta Cinema GmbH
Grünwalder Weg 28d, 820 41, Oberhaching/Munich
Tel: +49 896 734 698 828
Fax: +49 896 734 698 88

About the film

Color, 35 mm

Section: 20 Years of Freedom
Director: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck
Screenplay: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck
Dir. of Photography: Hagen Bogdanski
Music: Gabriel Yared, Stéphane Moucha
Editor: Patricia Rommel
Producer: Max Wiedemann, Quirin Berg
Production: Wiedemann & Berg Filmproduktion
Cast: Martina Gedeck, Ulrich Mühe, Sebastian Koch, Ulrich Tukur, Thomas Thieme, Hans-Uwe Bauer
Contact: Bontonfilm, a.s., Beta Cinema GmbH
Distributor: Bontonfilm, a.s.


Aleš Danielis


Marek Jeníček

Distributor, Producer

Petr Slavík

Distributor, PR & Marketing

Andreas Rothbauer

Distributor, Producer, Sales Agent


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