Zwei Leben

Since the Oscar-nominated German-Norwegian film Zwei Leben (Two Lives) was only running until tomorrow, we decided to watch it this evening. WiseMan had already seen it in Norwegian/German, and as he noted later, it is a film that you can't watch twice because then the suspense is gone.

But during the film you don't know what to think. A normal, boring life is punctuated by flashbacks that include scraps of some nasty German history: Lebensborn, a project that took the offspring of Norwegian women and Nazi occupiers to German orphanages in order to increase the so-called Aryan race; and the Stasi, the East German secret service that had their fingers in everything. Seeing what the Stasi was up to then and discovering what the NSA is up to now is scary.

The story draws you in, as more and more strands of the two lives come unraveled and tangle themselves. At one point the question is raised: Is it always necessary to tell the truth? People were so much happier when they didn't know the deep, dark secrets.

A thought-provoking film, but probably not for a general, global audience.

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