Oscar for Germany: The Lives of Others
After innumerous national and international awards (e.g. Deutscher Filmpreis (German film award), Europäischer Filmpreis (European film award)) the movie won the most important award of the international movie branch in the category "Foreign Language Film" last night.
Favourite of the bookmakers has been Pan's Labyrinth, a Mexican fantasy film before. But like many times before the Academy was good for a surprise and elected an outsider.
That's what director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck had to say:
"Oh my God! I was already crying after Tornatore's film. I thank you Academy members from the bottom of my heart for this honor. And I thank Michael and Tom from Sony Classics for choosing The Lives of Others and bringing it to you. I thank Germany and Bavaria for making this film possible. My great department heads for making this film with me.
Schwarzenegger for teaching me that the words "I can't" should be stricken from my vocabulary. And my entire crew. I thank my producers, commissioning editors, distributors, financiers. I thank my brother Sebastian for helping with this script and for "Baumba" for believing in me. But most of all I thank my actors, especially Ulrich and Sebastian, you're the greatest artists and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Finally, my wife Christiane. No, I have to say that one more thing. Just that one more thing: Christiane, I love you."
It is the third German movie to win an Oscar after:
The Tin Drum (1979)
Nowhere in Africa (2002)
In East Berlin in 1984, the secret police organization, Stasi, conducts extensive surveillance operations against any East German citizen suspected of opposing the Communist regime.
When Captain Gerd Weisler (Ulrich Mühe) begins monitoring the daily life of the playwright Georg Dreyman (Sebastian Koch) and his girlfriend the theater star Christa-Maria Sieland (Martina Gedeck), he finds himself increasingly unwilling to betray his subject's private moments to his superiors.
A dangerous game begins, which will tear the love of Dreyman and Sieland to pieces and destroy Weisler's previous existence. Until the wall falls all of them have to pay a high price. Then a new world starts again.