Movies Houstonians Love: Justin Cronin’s Favorite Film — Das Lebden der Anderen (The Lives of Others)

A Stasi agent learns about life from the people he is spying on in Das Lebden der Anderen (The Lives of Others), writer Justin Cronin’s choice for today’s installment of the Movies Houstonians Love series. Cronin, a Rice University professor and the author of the award-winning Mary and O’Neil as well as bestseller The Passage, has chosen the moving story of Wiesler, who has bugged playwright Georg Dreyman’s flat. He at first believes the surveillance is in the service of his country, but soon finds out his boss has ordered it to drum up an excuse to jail Dreyman and take his girlfriend. Unwilling to be part of such a plan, Wiesler begins to protect the couple he’s been tasked with keeping tabs on. Little lies grow into bigger ones, and finally Wiesler finds himself falsifying his reports on the pair. When Dreyman decides to write a subversive paper, Wiesler not only fails to report it, he removes evidence from the couple’s apartment just as it’s about to be raided. The action costs Wiesler dearly, but not as much as it would have had he continued to serve his boss’s selfish schemes. 7 p.m. Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1001 Bissonnet. For information, call 713-639-7515 or visit www.mfah.org/films. $6 to $7.
Mon., Jan. 31, 7 p.m., 2011
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Olivia Flores Alvarez