Friday, September 25, 2009

Das leben der anderen

Germany’s 2007 entry and winner of the Best Foreign Film Oscar is a lot of things. It is a well-made film. It is an inspiring story. It is a somewhat good eye opener to what people went through in the GDR days and what totalitarian regimes put their people through. It is a good example of what art does for societies, and how depriving people of artistic expression can kill their spirits.

What it is not is an accurate representation of the true evil that the GDR and other socialist nations subjected their citizens too as they made the natural progression to communist totalitarianism. There are hints of it there. People lived in fear of saying what was on their minds. People spied on their neighbors in an effort to get special treatment. It has only recently been revealed that the communist government actually punished people who fought the Nazi government during the war. It seems that they wanted to make sure that people understood, you do not resist or fight against the government. Maybe that, combined with the lack of education concerning the former regime during the GDR days has led to a higher incidence of neo-Nazi’s in the East as compared to the West.

Still, it is a good movie to gain a small understanding of what it might have been like back then… as long as you understand what you are getting into. It is a German movie, after all. There is a lot that many Christians try to avoid in their entertainment. (Then again, this is not quite what one would call entertainment.)

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