It happens Berlin-east during the cold war, a dark faze of the german history. If you don't know a lot about how european lived that period, this is the perfect movie learn (and i bet you don't because you guys only learn about america during the cold war in school). As you know, at that time Berlin was divided in two parts, west and east Berlin, one belonged to the Allies and the other belonged to the sovietocs. What you maybe don't know is that the living conditions in East Berlin were terrible. The society was controlled by the Stasi (basically the german CIA at the time). And the story starts with two caracters, good in their own way. One, Georg Dreyman, is a successful playwright; the other, Gerd Wiesler, is the Stasi officer who spies on him. The first one is handsome, successful, charismatic whereas the other appears to be the perfect caricature of the Stasi officer: cold, strict and insensitive. As the story goes on, Gerd discovers that Georg is leading illegal activities that could lead to the end of his career. But he also develops a fascination for the artist and, more globally, for art its-self.
The atmosphere is cold and gloomy, very powerful, you can almost feel it. The beautiful soundtrack ties the whole movie together.
This is a very touching movie on the power of art and it's impact on people's lives. Moreover it's about friendship and choices. In depth, it talks about humanity. The end is just magnificent.
I really liked this movie. I am a big fan of historical movies but this one combined it with very strong human emotions. I recommend it to anyone. And please guys...watch it in german !