Monday, January 18, 2010

A good film in bed

One of the exquisite pleasures of being with someone in love, harmony and peace is to watch together in bed a good film.
Curled up and caressing while the plot of the film unfolds.

This privileged experience gets even more excellence when the film is more than just a good movie.
Like the one of last night:
"Das Leben der Anderen" made by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck.

It is a story that plays in Autumn 1984 in the time East Germany was called the DDR.
The German Democratic Republic.
A country that only existed thanks to the Soviets and was ruled with an iron fist by Honnecker and his bandits who were responsible for making their country a totalitarian state.
Where there was not much freedom and a secret service, called the Stasi, that was controlling everybody.
People lived constantly in paranoia and were unable to protest the miserable circumstances they had to live in.

In this dramatic context the film "Das Leben der Anderen" tells the story of a well-known author of books and theater plays who revolts against the rulers that are celebrating him as a great and political correct writer.
The illegal activities of the author are discovered by a Stasi agent who monitors each moment of the life of the author and his girlfriend.
But this Stasi agent meets his morality.
He has his political opinions that are in solidarity with the socialist regime he works for.
But in the process, he develops sympathy and other human feelings for the couple he is monitoring and trying to frame.
Eventually, he protects them and contributes to the rescue of them and to the fall of the DDR.

The film "Das Leben der Anderen" is a fantastic film.
Very well made.
Great actors.
Fabulous story.
Strong emotions.
No wonder it won numerous awards.
Including an Oscar as best foreign film.
Quite an achievement because the film "Das Leben der Anderen" was the debut of the director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck.

Nevertheless, it must be realized that this movie reaches a rather small audience.
Compared to most Hollywood movies.
In order to grasp the essential of this movie, one must have some geographical and historical knowledge.
Educated Europeans therefore have access to the film and are able to clearly understand the story but one may wonder how deep this film can go with educated people in the USA, Japan, China and other countries uninformed and disinterested in recent European history.
Most likely is that they will never see this film as it will not show in a movie theatre near where they live.
Nor that they would be interested in a film about the German Democratic Republic about which they hardly know anything.
Hence, we have a situation that we have a marvelous and great film and that most people worldwide only see Hollywood garbage.

1 comment:

Dawn Pier said...

but does criticism of xenophobia = xenophobia?