Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Real to ReelA New Approach to Understanding Realism in Film and TV Fiction$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Martin Sohn-Rethel

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780993071768

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9780993071768.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 26 June 2022

Social Realism Continued: the special case of The Lives of Others1

Social Realism Continued: the special case of The Lives of Others1

(p.63) 3: Social Realism Continued: the special case of The Lives of Others1
Real to Reel

Martin Sohn-Rethel

Liverpool University Press

This chapter evaluates social realism in Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck's Das Leben der Anderen (The Lives Of Others, 2006). It is a near-universally praised film which claims to expose the murky dealings of the East German (GDR) secret police and its thick blanket of informers before the 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall and of the Iron Curtain itself. In doing so, it tells the redemptive tale of a Stasi agent, Captain Gerd Wiesler (Ulrich Mühe), who 'turns', finds a redemptive truth, and works against the corrupt ideology that employs him in order to save East German playwright Georg Dreymann (Sebastian Koch) from Stasi persecution. How realistic is the film to the social-political background it claims to depict? And if it departs from that background, what difference does it make? A film successfully engaging the code of social realism needs to build a very convincing picture of its chosen historical environment. The Lives of Others does this to the satisfaction of an overwhelming majority of its audience.

Keywords:   social realism, Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, The Lives Of Others, East German secret police, social-political background, historical film

Liverpool Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.