After several hours of non-stop interrogation — the same questions over and over and the understanding that the police could keep you indefinitely — what would you do? You might get angry. Yell. Rage. Kick your chair. Or, would you cry? Would you grow very quiet and give up?
It depends less on your personality than on your guilt, according to Capt. Gerd Wiesler (Ulrich Mühe), an agent of the Stasi, the East German Secret Police, in “The Lives of Others” (“Das Leben der Anderen”). Wiesler is the perfect, perilous, professorial patriot. He’s both smart and he believes in what he does, which, unfortunately for playwright George Dreyman (Sebastian Koch), is to root out any potential threats to the state.