Speech - Lives of Others and Stasiland

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Anna Funder’s book Stasiland and Donnersmark’s film The Lives of Others both discuss the Stasi’s oppression of the people in West Berlin during the time of the Berlin Wall. The composers depict light and darkness both literally through various techniques and metaphorically through mutual themes. These implementations of light and dark revolve around the concept of secret histories, which refer to the Stasi regime being hidden in darkness during its rule, and subsequently it’s revelation to the rest of the world after the wall fell. Darkness in correspondence to the themes loss of humanity and control is portrayed through the use of pathetic fallacy, ambiguousness due to
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These themes of hope and identity refer to the topic secret histories through the secret inner personal lives that people still manage to maintain despite this scrutiny.

In The Lives of Others Identity is shown through two characters, Christa-Marie and Wiesler. These characters are implemented to show the inner personal conflict in the film to lead to a sense of true identity. Wiesler when he experienced any form of emotion vicariously “Can’t you stay for a little while longer?” this was said by Wiesler after his scene with the prostitute. And Christa-Marie when she betrayed Dreyman by choosing her acting career over her love for Georg “Think of your audience.” Wiesler stated this while he interrogated Christa-Marie. The conflict between love and duty allowed the audience to grasp a thorough understanding of the characters identity and see their ‘true light’. Hope is portrayed through the perseverance of the characters of the public “of course he is not wrong to keep hope, hope is after all, the last thing that we can loose.” This quote by Hempf at the party surrounded by dim light demonstrates the arrogant behavior of the Stasi men however the contrast with the later quote by Hempf in a well lit room outside the theatre “We all miss the wall, nothing to believe in, nothing to rebel against” creates irony as he has now lost power and the determination of the public has

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