A recent issue of National Review listed the top 25 "conservative" movies of the past 25 years. Number one on the list was "The Lives of Others," a German-language film that won the Oscar in 2006 for Best Foreign Film. I hadn't seen the film, and probably wouldn't have if it hadn't received such high praise from the denizens of NR's "The Corner" blog.
In 25 words or less, the film is the story of the East German Stasi's surveillance of an author and his girlfriend in 1984.
But there's much more to it than that. The utter depravity of the East German regime and what it did to crush the humanity of its people is on full display here. And it's not just those who came under the watchful eye of the Stasi that suffered from the toxic environment, many of those doing the spying also had their basic humanity stripped from them.
I encourage those who haven't seen the film to add it to their Netflix queue or rent it from their local video store.
Having said that, I checked out some of the comments on the IMDB message board for this film and wanted to point out this bit of this one, wondering how those right-wing conservatives would call "conservative" a movie that demonizes spying on citizens when that's all President George W. Bush and his neocon cabal have been doing for the last eight years.
I think the bond that ties the East German's and the McCarthyists [sic] and Nixon Administration (the political bloodlines of both running all the way to the GW Bush administration--most notably Rumsfeld and Cheney), is the use of fear to squelch dissent and destroy political opponents. Perhaps it was less overt with the American manifestations than the East Germans as the state apparatus behind it was more tenuous, but the fear of character assasination [sic] and destruction of careers can be just as potent.
Name just one person whose speech was squelched by Bush, Rumsfeld and Cheney over the past eight years. Name one person who had their career destroyed by the last administration? The next sentence, which I didn't quote, refers to Michael Moore's movie "Sicko." The last administration was really tough for Moore wasn't it? With all the times he was arrested and how no one would show his movie and people had to smuggle DVDs of Moore's work to Canada where it could be viewed in freedom. Not to mention all those times Bush called upon his conservative automatons to demand critics of the administration not be allowed to speak.
So much for the "reality-based community."