At The Movies, In Berlin

At The Movies, In Berlin

Last Sunday marked the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

East Side Gallery, Murals on The Berlin Wall

Long before that barrier was erected, and in the 25 years since it came down, Berlin has been the setting for scores of motion pictures.

But there are two movies that visual convey the sense of dread that East Berliners felt living for nearly three decades in their divided city.

The Tunnel (“Der Tunnel”, 2001) is based on a true story of a group of East Germans trying to escape to the west by tunneling to the “free” side of the Berlin Wall. There’s acts of heroism and betrayal, and the ever present danger that the plotters will be discovered and captured by the East German police.

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 While The Tunnel focuses on escaping to the West, the 2006 film, The Lives of Others (“Das Leben der Anderen”) is a chilling portrait of living in East Germany. The story follows Gerd Wiesler, a captain of East German secret police (“Stasi”) as he follows and listens in on the lives of dramatist Georg Dreyman and his longtime companion, actress Christa-Maria Sieland.

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 Unfortunately, neither movie is available for purchase on DVD or Blu-ray from Amazon.com by U.S. residents. But you can obtain both on DVD if you are a Netflix subscriber.

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