AUTHOR: linda TITLE: "The Lives of Others," is for you DATE: 10:52:00 AM ----- BODY:

An annual pilgrimage to the Berlin & Beyond Film Festival brought us to "The Lives of Others," winner of the 2007 Academy Award for Best Foreign Film and a curious mirror to real-life events for Ulrich Mühe, who received the award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role.

Taking place in East Berlin in 1984 just before the fall of the Berlin Wall, the story reveals each character to not who they initially seem: a socialist playwright makes use of his contacts to write a controversial article in for the West, his girlfriend is coerced to play the other side, and highly-skilled Stasi Captain Gerd Wiesler is "human, after all."

This drama of gradual disillusionment, with its suspense of political power hitting the home and the stark reality of living in divided Germany at that time, is also unlike it appears. Among the dull colors, under the overcast sky, in the face of the shouts and threats, there's heart and passion and promise, and gratitude for his humanity, after all.

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