German Film ″The Lives of Others″ Nominated for Oscar | Culture | Arts, music and lifestyle reporting from Germany | DW | 23.01.2007

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German Film "The Lives of Others" Nominated for Oscar

The German movie "The Lives of Others" has been nominated for this year's Oscars in the "Foreign Language Film" category.

Germany's Ulrich Muehe , left, poses with his award for best actor with Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck ,center, with his award for best screenwriter and producer Qvirin Berg , right, after the European Film Awards in Warsaw ,Poland

Will the film's makers have an Oscar to add to their collection of awards?

Directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, the spy drama known in German as "Das Leben der Anderen" was also nominated for a Golden Globe Award for "Best Foreign Language Film" and named "European Film of 2006" at the 19th European Film Awards.

The movie is in the running for the Academy Award against Danish movie "After the Wedding," "Days of Glory" (Indigenes) from Algeria, "Pan's Labyrinth" from Mexico and "Water" from Canada.

Cloak and dagger

Sebastian Koch und Martina Gedeck in a scene from The Lives of Others

Sebastian Koch und Martina Gedeck in a scene from "The Lives of Others"

The movie is an intense look at a committed East German secret police officer who gradually becomes disillusioned with the system he has worked to uphold. He finally switches sides and tries to protect a woman he was assigned to spy on.

"The Lives of Others" is the first feature film for 32-year-old von Donnersmarck and explores how East Germany's secret police service, the Stasi, invaded the lives of so many of its own citizens, destroying many along the way.

"This film is a more serious consideration of the era than ones that proceeded it," said Mike Swain, head of the German online movie site "It has a very precise analysis of a police state. On another level, it asks if it's possible to maintain one's humanity in a totalitarian system."

Awash in awards

"The Lives of Others" beat Spanish movie "Volver" starring Penelope Cruz to win the European Film of 2006, the European Film Academy's top prize in 2006. Henckel von Donnersmarck also took home the European Screenwriter award, while Ulrich Mühe, who played the Stasi spy, won European Actor.

The film had already won six "Lolas," Germany's top film prizes, including the awards for best film and best actor in May 2006.

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