The movie Das Leben der Anderen and Silicon Valley

There is a similarity between the Silicon Valley today, in times of economic stress, and communist Germany.

This movie, directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, it's about 1984 German Democratic Republic's Stassi (their KGB), and freedom. Lenin said he could listen totally immersed to the music Apassionata of Beethoven, but then he could not finish the revolution and kill people as necessary.

Germany has the double experience of national socialism and followed by communism in GDR. The later I share. The Stassi interrogations could have had been filmed in Romania or Russia .

The movie director eliminated the colors red and green from the photography. Indeed, what is left is the color of communism, and if you want, it has also nostalgic aura to it.

I stayed at home, in the middle of the day, absorbing this almost 3 hour movie, and postponing whatever I planned to do Saturday. The last scene, I had some tears in my eyes.

The system - any system, religious, state, corporation - by its nature is concerned with authority, power and defensive measures to protect. This leads to Bureaucracy, - which makes life very difficult for individuals. It commands total obedience. The human being live in an un-natural state.
There is no way one can live by rules in Communism, yet many people do, whether oppressors or victims. We all have bad or good inside, and it is up to the system to bring out the good or bad, to create opportunities, or to smash creativity in the name of something, be it communism, tradition, religion or company policy.

Christa-Maria Sieland (Martina Gedeck) is a woman not young and not pretty, yet both the actress and the character have an enormous sex-appeal and feminine presence. She is destroyed for all her vulnerabilities, rather than being protected for having them. These vulnerabilities are used in the movie to humiliate and kill her, and not for making her a great actress, which is her inner talent and destiny . She was a potential great actress, but no one cares, except her lover/husband Georg Dreyman, a writer (Sebastian Koch).

The member of the Political Buro and minister Demf, wants to have Christa-Maria as her lover, because of the power entitles him to have any women he wants, in the name of the Party. Agent Hauptmann Gerd Wiesler, who is a professional Stassi interogator, spends his life writing every word he hears from a wired residence of Dreyman. He realizes that what he does, really helps a libidinous person in a position of power to satisfy his whims.

I once saw a play , in Romanian in Toronto . I even wrote an article about it in Romanian. It was about someone who, after the communists fell, enter the office of a mildly known journalist and tells him ; "I am you". The man was the secret agent assigned to follow the journalist under communists, and who knew details, embarrassing or not, that no one else even guessed the journalist had.

This is a scary thought. Imagine having someone assigned to spy on me, all my life, without me knowing. Simply knowing most intimately what I have done and thought, makes me vulnerable and insignificant.

If he is my friend and believes in me, he makes me a star. If he is my enemy, he destroys me. Because I have in me all the banality, occasional brilliance, talent or weaknesses that can make me a hero or a villain, a saint or a damned human being destined to be forgotten and spit upon in history.

Human values triumph only we as a people fight for them, sometimes in vain, but the next generations benefit. And any thing - regime, corporation, religion - that goes against human being natural state, is doomed to fall.

This movie is not only about Stassi. It is about us, the way we live, the way we work, the way we submit or rebel to authority, the way we fell and way we rise. As Florian Henckel says, for 160 minutes, the movie is our psychoanalyst. This is why this is no ordinary movie. It is experience that reveals and bring light to my life and our loves, I hope.


 The crisis , the economic crisis, , makes us all as vulnerable as Christa-Maria Sieland, ready to make shameful compromises, for the illusions we have and don't want to give them up. We loose self esteem. We are unable to listen, like Lenin, to Beethoven Appasionata, because this will make us weak in fight for survival.
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