Movie Recommendation: The Lives of Others

From 1960s Rand associate Bob Hessen:
I warmly recommend THE LIVES OF OTHERS, dealing with East Germany before its collapse in 1989. The secret police (the “Stasi”) spy on the lives of everyone suspected of being disloyal to the regime or the ideal of socialism. Ulrich Muhe, who won a Lola, the German equivalent of an Oscar for his brilliant performance, detects a trace of independence and non-conformity in a leading playwright and his actress girlfriend, so he begins round-the-clock surveillance of their apartment, spying on every conversation and intimate moment. But his adversarial attitude softens when he discovers that his boss, who approved the surveillance, has sexual designs on the actress. The story is exceptionally suspenseful and superbly acting. This movie earned eleven awards in Germany last year — and I shall be rooting for it to win an Academy Award as Best Foreign Film this year.
It opened last week in Menlo Park and presumably is playing nation- wide, but there is no telling how long it will play, so see it soon if it appeals to you.