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MFL/German: Das Leben Welcher Anderen – Putting The Lives Of Others Into Context With Molly Harrabin From University of Warwick

April 22 @ 15:45 - 16:30

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In this German session, Molly Harrabin, a PhD student at the University of Warwick, will run an interactive session on Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck’s 2006 award-winning film, Das Leben der Anderen.

Von Donnersmarck’s film follows Stasi Hauptmann Gerd Wiesler as he is ordered to spy on the playwright Georg Dreyman. The film has been praised for its accurate tone, particularly given that the director himself grew up outside of East Germany and was only 16 years old when the Berlin Wall fell on 9 November 1989.

In this session, we will look at whether this assessment of Das Leben der Anderen is fair. How authentic is the representation of life in East Germany? Is the depiction of the Stasi valid or is the character Gerd Wiesler unrealistic and attributed undue sympathy? Who really are the ‘others’ of the film? Who is the hero? Is there one? To answer these questions, and more, we will draw upon the socio-historical context and make comparisons with other German films that focus upon East Germany.

The session will be led in English but there will be constant reference to, and use of, German.

To get the most from the session, we recommend that people have watched the film in advance.


Speaker Profile: Molly Harrabin


Our events are designed so that a group of students can take part from a classroom or students and teachers can take part as individuals, either from school or from home. This means that sessions will continue irrespective of possible school closures.

As a live, participative event, this session will not be recorded but slides and other resources will be shared after the event, where available.


Suitable for: Year 12 & 13 students (and equivalent) studying, or with a more general interest in, Das Leben der Anderen. In addition, students with a possible interest in a degree in Languages, German and related disciplines will gain an understanding of how films are discussed in tutorials. Student groups, and individual students and teachers are very welcome to join us.

Preparation/Pre-Reading: To get the most from the session, we recommend that people have watched Das Leben der Anderen in advance.

The IT Setup: The event will be run on Zoom and participants will be able to join using laptops, tablets, and mobile devices. If you are joining as a school group, we recommend connecting with one device and projecting on to a whiteboard. You will be able to interact with the university via a microphone and/or typed comments and questions. Full details will be sent to those who have registered (see below) prior to the event.

Booking a Place: This is free for schools and colleges. If you would like to take part in this event, please register your interest using the link to the registration form below:


Register here



April 22
15:45 - 16:30
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