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The Lives of Others: Wiesler

Sonata for a Good Man

Maciej Jachtorowicz

on 23 January 2013

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Transcript of The Lives of Others: Wiesler

The Lives of Others A look into the person of HGW XX/7 Hauptmann Gerd Wiesler is a middle aged man in a successful position, dedicated to his country and his work. He looks this way, and is put in this position to give him a sense of permanence, experience and authority, but also to sever him from any sort of emotional ties. Wiesler's cold and clinical job description juxtaposed the creative and free writer, Dreyman. Wiesler was completely loyal to the state, while Dreyman was loyal to his ideology that contradicted that of the state. When Wiesler's shift in perspective occurs, it's more dramatic because of this distance between their views. Wiesler's alignment is violently jarred to match Dreyman's and his motivations change to protect him At first Wiesler is motivated by the desire to serve the state, but Dreyman realigns Wiesler so that he protect the truths of beauty and art at the cost of his own position and nearly his own life. Wiesler knew his actions would end him up in a bad situation, but he did them because he knew it was the right thing to do. The culture that Wiesler lives in, and eventually fights against is an oppressive culture, that serves to accentuate his role as the tragic hero, working against a power much larger than himself to achieve something that will lead to his ultimate failure. Wiesler's cunning and ingenuity are a key feature in his personality. He uses his intellect to keep secrets, write false reports, and lie to his superiors to keep them off Dreyman's back. Wiesler managed to maintain a guise of the cold and clinical Stazi officer even as he defied the government with every step he took towards the truth The three key moments in the film are the moments that changed both the characters of Dreyman and Wiesler. First, with Jerska's death, Dreyman plays the Sonata for a Good Man, which was Wiesler's tipping point as his turned toward Dreyman's direction. Then, the moment that Christa-Maria Seiland commits suicide, the moment that Wiesler felt his plan fall apart, even as he saved Dreyman's life from the Stazi. Finally, the moment Dreyman becomes aware of Weisler's involvement, and writes a book, Sonata for a Good Man in gratitude for Weisler's actions. These three moments signify the frailties and the strengths of the human condition, that the truth is often worth it, but always comes a great cost. Wiesler's discovers these truths, and acts on them without any regard for his personal protection. These moments in the movie caused the true impact of the message. The message that the truths of art and beauty will always survive and surface, and that it is always better to be a good man.
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