The Lives of Others

Matthew Hoy
By Matthew Hoy on March 3, 2009

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."

0 comments on “The Lives of Others”

  1. Every once in awhile, just for kicks, I post a comment on some lefty deranged (sorry for the redundancy) blog in response to idiotic comments like the one you have shown here from the IMDB message board. I like to point out that FDR, the most beloved Democrat of all time, threw 100,000 Americans into internment camps, and that when he didn't like the rulings that the Supreme Court issued, tried to expand it to stock it with justices of his liking, thereby subverting one of the co-equal branches of government. Boy, does that bring forth a howl. But, as Reagan said, facts are stubborn things, and the facts are that whatever rights violations that Bush is merely accused of, they pale in comparison to the verifiable actions of the left's patron saint.


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March 2009



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