I'm sure many of our Loyal Readers thought of the Oscar-winning film The Lives Of Others when we decided to discuss Anna Funder's Stasiland: Stories from Behind the Berlin Wall this month. Well, it turns out that the author wrote a column on the movie for The Guardian,
I think the film deserves its public and critical acclaim. It is a superb film, a thing of beauty. But its story is a fantasy narrative that could not have taken place (and never did) under the GDR dictatorship. The film has, then, an odd relation to historical truth, a truth that is being bitterly fought for now.The article has some great background on the making of the film and many other great insights,
To my mind, hoping for salvation to come from the change of heart of a perpetrator is to misunderstand the nature of bureaucratised evil - the way great harms can be inflicted in minute, "legal" steps, or in decisions by committees carried out by people "just doing their jobs".Do read the whole thing.