South Bank
London, England SE1

Director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck's impressively handled debut feature tells a tale of love and tenderness in East Germany, under the oppressive regime of the Socialist Unity Party, circa 1984. Captain Wiesler (Ulrich Muhe) of the notorious Stasi, the Gestapo-like police arm of the Party, is given the task of spying on gifted liberal playwright Georg Dreyman (Sebastian Koch) and his girlfriend Christa-Maria Sieland (Martina Gedeck). Wiesler bugs Georg's flat, recording the most intimate exchanges between Georg, Christa-Maria and their bohemian friends. But the more Wiesler is exposed to the everyday "lives of others", the more he questions the cruel ideology he upholds. Von Donnersmarck skilfully mixes his palette: the Stasi scenes all cold, silvery grey-blue, while Georg's flat glows with warm orangey-brown hues. This year's foreign language Oscar winner The Lives Of Others is a powerful plea to replace totalitarian rule with heartfelt human interaction.
After the screening Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck will be present to receive the Satyajit Ray Award from Sir Richard Attenborough, and to answer questions. If you cannot make this screening then catch von Donnersmarck for another post screening Q&A on 12/04 (6:20pm) at the Curzon Soho.
NB: The Lives Of Others is released in London on 13/04. To celebrate its release on 15/04 the Curzon Soho and Renoir have programmed Germany In Tension: GDR And FDR, which comprises Berlin: Schoenhauser Corner (12pm), Suspicion (Der Verdacht) (1:50pm) and The Lost Honour Of Katharina Blum (12pm). Other films of note released this week and next week are El Topo (06/04), The Caiman (06/04) and Zhang Yimou's Curse Of The Golden Flower (13/04).


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Added by wurzeltod on April 5, 2007

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