Saturday, June 11, 2016

Watch "The Lives of Others," to understand life under a Communist dictatorship.

Communism as a political force and an viable ideology began unraveling twenty-nine years ago this November with the fall of the Berlin Wall.  From the Bolsheviks who murdered their way into power and continuing today with needless famine and persecution in North Korea, more than 100 million people have died victims of an evil ideology. In addition to those who were murdered by Communist regimes, many many more spend part of their lives in the Soviet Gulag or were brutalized, humiliated and "reeducated" by the Communist during the Chinese Cultural Revolution, or were imprisoned or exiled in other countries ruled by Communist.

Many many millions more who were not killed or imprisoned lived lives of desperation and fear in repressive regimes, never having known the simplest freedoms that we take for granted. 

Unfortunately many do not know the extent of Communism’s atrocities. While the horrors of Nazism are well known, and should be, Communist regimes around the world exacted a death toll surpassing that of all Nazi and Fascist and authoritarian regimes several times over. 

One of my favorite movies that explains portrays the truth of  life behind the iron curtain is Lives of Others. This movie is powerful and intense without relying on edge-of-your-seat plotting or staging. It is not an over-the-top thriller, yet it is captivating and engaging by simply telling a very human story. The movie tells the story of a Communist secret polices agent who accepts an assignment from his superiors to spy on a playwright. He bugs the apartment, set up surveillance equipment in an attic, and begin reporting on the playwright's daily activities.  Over time he becomes disillusioned with the police state. The film has been praised for its accuracy in reporting what life was actually like in East Germany. The Lives of Others won the 2006 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film and won various other international awards. It is available on Netflix. I highly recommend it.

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