The Lives of Others
Winner of the 2006 Oscar for Best Foreign Language film, The Lives of Others is a political thriller set in the East Berlin of the 1980s, which explores issues of privacy and state control through the eyes of a Stasi officer played by Ulrich Mühe.
It is the debut feature of Florian Henckel von Donnesmarck, who has said of the film that, although it is about the Stasi, "I didn't conceive it as a Stasi film. I conceived it as being about how people behave when they have complete power over others; how does it feel when your privacy is in no way safeguarded?".
The film is marked by a compelling performance by Ulrich Mühe, who was assigned to patrol the Berlin Wall as a conscript in the East German military and whose early death by cancer was attributed by the film's director as originating from the anxiety he suffered during this period.
Dr Andres Guadamuz, Senior Lecturer in Intellectual Property Law at the University of Sussex, will give a short introduction to the key themes explored in the film.