Merkel congratulates film crew for Oscar

26th February 2007, Comments 0 comments

26 February 2007, Berlin (dpa) - The Oscar for The Lives of Others as best foreign language picture "is a stunning endorsement" for an "impressive film," German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Monday. Merkel praised the entire team and "grandiose debut" by the German film's director, Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, who picked up the award in Los Angeles on Sunday evening. "The Oscar is a stunning endorsement for this impressive film about an authentic German narrative," government spokesman Ulrich Wilhelm

26 February 2007

Berlin (dpa) - The Oscar for The Lives of Others as best foreign language picture "is a stunning endorsement" for an "impressive film," German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Monday.

Merkel praised the entire team and "grandiose debut" by the German film's director, Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, who picked up the award in Los Angeles on Sunday evening.

"The Oscar is a stunning endorsement for this impressive film about an authentic German narrative," government spokesman Ulrich Wilhelm quoted Merkel as saying.

The Lives of Others deals with the surveillance culture of the Stasi secret police under the former communist regime in East Germany in the 1980s.

The story about a Stasi agent's snooping on a successful dramatist and his actress girlfriend was treated in a sensitive manner and had a convincing effect on people, Merkel said.

Marianne Birthler, the government official who oversees the vast Stasi archives in Berlin, said the Oscar showed that the communist era was more than just a footnote in history.

"The question of how and why people turned into traitors and why others remained true to their principles is something that applies to all societies that have overcome dictatorships," she said.

Former East German civil rights worker Rainer Eppelmann said the honour for The Lives of Others sent out an important political message.

"The Oscar will encourage cinemagoers worldwide to reflect on the issue of (East German) dictatorship and the Stasi," said Eppelmann, who today heads a foundation that looks into East German history.

Von Donnersmarck was previously honoured with the European film prize for The Lives of Others, his first major work as a director.

DPA

Subject: German news

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