The Lives of Others by Michelle Looc
Question: We follow the stirred up emotions of the main character in a visual or oral text to chart struggle and change. Florian Von Henckel Donnersmarck who directed The Lives of Others portrays Wiesler as an emotionless guy like a robot. We follow Wiesler’s journey as we find his struggles and changes in emotions peculiar due to his strict emotionless state. Donnersmarck uses the theme individuality vs conformity to initiate changes in Wiesler’s life influenced by Georg Dreyman as he puts his life at risk. Donnersmarck portrays Wiesler as a Stasi officer. He wears grey and black clothes, his apartment and the use of lighting creates a dull effect showing viewers the room looks plain and boring. He also only has one plate, one cup and eats uncooked rice with tomato sauce. He doesn’t decorate his home nor does he use the effort to cook delicious dinner. This portrayal defines Wiesler as an uncreative person. When we first hear of Wiesler it is from another Stasi escorting a prisoner to the interrogation room. “Call him captain.” This dialogue tells viewers Wiesler holds high authority within the Stasi. When he names the prisoner, “Prisoner 227” we find Wiesler has no care for others and stripped the man of his own individuality. Wiesler is clearly portrayed as a cold hearted, strict and harsh man. Therefore when Wiesler faces challenges and struggles to keep his conformity we become interested in his change. He believes the Stasi is the “the party’s shield and sword,” which he reinforces to Grubitz. Wiesler’s belief was so strong that when he was influenced by Dreyman’s action and belief, his own ideology was shattered due to Minister Hempf manipulating the Stasi system. Wiesler starts to question the system of the Stasi and struggles to find his reason for existence since before; his sole purpose in life was to serve the Stasi. From Dreyman’s influence he starts to embrace ‘Art’. Society needs to...
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