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A Polite Dissent

  • Sep 17, 2007
  • by
Rating:
+1
This is a well-made, very well-acted movie. As a personal bonus to me, the German was Hochdeutsch enough for me to understand it. I was moved to fears and tears by moments of it. However, it is significantly flawed by unrealism of a Hollywood sort not far from James Bond or 24. The bugging of the writer's apartment, during a couple hours of absence, could not have been anything like the hi-tech system shown in the movie. I traveled in East Germany before the Fall of the Wall, and I worked in both Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia. Please don't suppose that I'm defending the Communist repression. But nobody there had the resources to employ two Stazis per artist full-time. Thankfully! And there were lots of people who lived their lives a lot less shadowed by Big Bad Brother than this movie implies. Okay, so it's just entertainment, right? But the need to be honest on both sides, the mutual GLASNOST, makes me think that entertainment shouldn't be able to over-influence people's historical understanding.
Did it deserve an Oscar? At least as much as most winners. But I like "Good-bye Lenin" a lot more.
On second thought, and with a little nudging, I'd give this flick four stars for artfulness, still withholding one for honesty.

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More The Lives of Others reviews
review by . July 01, 2011
A sad, thoughtful and redemptive film
"Did you know that there are just five types of artists? Your guy, Dreyman, is a Type 4, a 'hysterical anthropocentrist.' Can't bear being alone, always talking, needing friends. That type should never be brought to trial. They thrive on that. Temporary detention is the best way to deal with them. Complete isolation and no set release date. No human contact the whole time, not even with the guards. Good treatment, no harassment, no abuse, no scandals, nothing they could write about …
review by . October 06, 2010
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review by . September 03, 2009
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review by . June 03, 2008
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review by . January 11, 2008
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review by . November 28, 2007
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review by . August 25, 2007
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Göran ()
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