‘Redeeming the Demon? The Legacy of the Stasi in Das Leben des Anderen/The Lives of Others’

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The Lives of Others (2006) has been a phenomenally successful film, winning the Oscar for Best Foreign Feature in 2007. Yet despite the critical acclaim it has received abroad, in Germany reactions have been more mixed. Many commentators, especially historians, have been at pains to point out that the transformation of the Stasi officer into the guardian angel of his target is wholly unrealistic in the context of the GDR. However, many of the same critics also concede that the film is a very effective film. It is this paradox that the present article will examine. Hitherto, very few, if any, examinations of the film have ever looked at its construction and impact as film. We will explore the way that the generic conventions of melodrama have been adapted to create what we might call an authenticity of affect, which actually enhances the film’s treatment of injustice and redemption.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)164-177
JournalMemory Studies
Volume3
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Fingerprint

Ministry of State Security (GDR)
Motion Pictures
Germany
Pain
Therapeutics
melodrama
authenticity
pain
historian
critic
examination

Cite this

@article{a634a5af7cd34cddb754a9782db72c12,
title = "‘Redeeming the Demon? The Legacy of the Stasi in Das Leben des Anderen/The Lives of Others’",
abstract = "The Lives of Others (2006) has been a phenomenally successful film, winning the Oscar for Best Foreign Feature in 2007. Yet despite the critical acclaim it has received abroad, in Germany reactions have been more mixed. Many commentators, especially historians, have been at pains to point out that the transformation of the Stasi officer into the guardian angel of his target is wholly unrealistic in the context of the GDR. However, many of the same critics also concede that the film is a very effective film. It is this paradox that the present article will examine. Hitherto, very few, if any, examinations of the film have ever looked at its construction and impact as film. We will explore the way that the generic conventions of melodrama have been adapted to create what we might call an authenticity of affect, which actually enhances the film’s treatment of injustice and redemption.",
author = "Owen Evans",
year = "2010",
doi = "10.1177/1750698009355678",
language = "English",
volume = "3",
pages = "164--177",
journal = "Memory Studies",
issn = "1750-6980",
publisher = "Sage",
number = "2",

}

‘Redeeming the Demon? The Legacy of the Stasi in Das Leben des Anderen/The Lives of Others’. / Evans, Owen.

In: Memory Studies, Vol. 3, No. 2, 2010, p. 164-177.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - ‘Redeeming the Demon? The Legacy of the Stasi in Das Leben des Anderen/The Lives of Others’

AU - Evans, Owen

PY - 2010

Y1 - 2010

N2 - The Lives of Others (2006) has been a phenomenally successful film, winning the Oscar for Best Foreign Feature in 2007. Yet despite the critical acclaim it has received abroad, in Germany reactions have been more mixed. Many commentators, especially historians, have been at pains to point out that the transformation of the Stasi officer into the guardian angel of his target is wholly unrealistic in the context of the GDR. However, many of the same critics also concede that the film is a very effective film. It is this paradox that the present article will examine. Hitherto, very few, if any, examinations of the film have ever looked at its construction and impact as film. We will explore the way that the generic conventions of melodrama have been adapted to create what we might call an authenticity of affect, which actually enhances the film’s treatment of injustice and redemption.

AB - The Lives of Others (2006) has been a phenomenally successful film, winning the Oscar for Best Foreign Feature in 2007. Yet despite the critical acclaim it has received abroad, in Germany reactions have been more mixed. Many commentators, especially historians, have been at pains to point out that the transformation of the Stasi officer into the guardian angel of his target is wholly unrealistic in the context of the GDR. However, many of the same critics also concede that the film is a very effective film. It is this paradox that the present article will examine. Hitherto, very few, if any, examinations of the film have ever looked at its construction and impact as film. We will explore the way that the generic conventions of melodrama have been adapted to create what we might call an authenticity of affect, which actually enhances the film’s treatment of injustice and redemption.

U2 - 10.1177/1750698009355678

DO - 10.1177/1750698009355678

M3 - Article

VL - 3

SP - 164

EP - 177

JO - Memory Studies

JF - Memory Studies

SN - 1750-6980

IS - 2

ER -