"Truer than the Real Thing": "Real" and "Hyperreal" Representations of the Past in Das Leben der Anderen
Abstract

Abstract:

With his 2006 film Das Leben der Anderen (The Lives of Others), writer and director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck asserted that he had "created a GDR that is truer than the real thing, that is realer than the actual GDR." In this article, I show that while Das Leben der Anderen strives to be an authentic representation of the past through its incorporation of real props and on-site filming, it in fact shows a reality that is "hyperreal." Despite the film's various claims to authenticity, its plot serves as a subtext that exposes the very concepts of "truth" and "reality" as, at best, elusive ideals.