Tuesday, May 1
The Lives of Others
In the context of recuperating some of my Italian-ness, recently I have been attending a number of cultural (and less cultural) events with a group of Italian cinema enthusiasts. On Sunday we finally got a goodden! (you see, the issue with independent/cultural movies is that you have little or no assurance at all on how good a film will be). The Lives of Others , Das Leben der Anderen,is a wonderful German movie about the Socialist regime in East Germany covering the five years prior to the fall of the Berlin Wall. It is gripping, philosophical, ironic and very thoughtful. If you get a chance, do watch it. It tells the story of Stasi agent Gerd Wiesler, a keenly idealistic supporter of the communist regime, is assigned to spy on playwright Georg Dreyman, who, Wiesler is told, is suspected of Western leanings. The movie portrays a strong contrast between Dreyman's idealism, talent, attractiveness and fullness of life and the dull, methodical and lacking depth life of the officer. By investing most of his time in spying and observing Dreyman and his entourage's every move, the emptiness of Wiesler is exposed and throughout a process of identification, profound personal transformation is brought about. I was drown into change together with Wiesler and reminded of the blogspere where we peep into other people's lives, through a similar process of identification, are drown to empathise, criticise, reflect, join in, comment. I am reminded of Alain, who I only met the once and mainly know about from friends of his and within the blogsphere - yet who's pain at this time of incommensurable grief, reaches even to me, a stranger, and makes it hard for me to think that anything else would be respectful enough or worth writing at the moment. I am also reminded of what it is like to be part of a Christian community where one's joy is everyone's joy; however, if one member suffers, regardless of who they are or where they are, the whole body suffers with them and are been transformed in the process. Like Wiesler, tranformed into kinder, more compassionate, more loving people, inspired by the lives of others we observe.