Michael Totten

The Lives of Others

Twenty years ago, citizens of East Germany destroyed the Berlin Wall and set off a series of revolutions that demolished the totalitarian police states of Europe.
Like me, you probably won’t be able to fly to Berlin to commemorate the anniversary this week. Might I suggest a film, then, if you’d like to mark the date?
If you haven’t yet seen it, pick up or rent a copy of The Lives of Others, about East German civilians under surveillance by Stasi agents. It’s one of the best films I’ve ever seen, and certainly the best film ever made about communism.

As many as 100 million people were murdered by communist regimes in the 20th century, but Hollywood is strangely uninterested in the topic. Perhaps one day Steven Spielberg will tackle Stalinism as he did Nazism. Until then, The Lives of Others is the film to watch, and what better time than the twentieth anniversary of the wall’s destruction in Germany?