The Transcendent Nature of Sound in The Lives of Others Essay
The use of recorded sound and technological listening devices help us to understand the voyeuristic nature of Professor Hauptmann Gerd Wiestler, a Captain for the Stasi of East Germany. He is a lonely man and has sacrificed a more socially fulfilling life to serve the interests of his country. His only meaningful contact with other human beings is achieved by anonymously listening in to the happenings of other people’s lives. Through audio equipment, Wiestler becomes privy to the intimate complexities of relationships and how they are affected by the current political conditions which he helps to propagate. The film uses these props to create connections between characters that are separated by spatial boundaries. It allows the viewer and Wiestler to have an unrestricted perspective on the personal struggles of the writer Georg Dreyman.
The use of audio overlap allows the viewer to continue hearing the conversations of Dreyman and his friends, while at the same time staying focused on Wiestler’s reaction to what is being