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Last Updated: Saturday, 13 May 2006, 10:34 GMT 11:34 UK
Seven awards to German Stasi film
Award-winning director Florian von Donnersmarck
This film was Florian von Donnersmarck's directorial debut
A drama about the devastating effect of the secret Stasi police force on ordinary citizens has won seven prizes at Germany's leading film awards.

Among the honours earned by Das Leben der Anderen - The Lives of Others - at the Lolas were best film, director, actor and supporting actor.

Set five years before the Berlin Wall fell, it portrays security officers and their networks of informants.

The movie has sparked a nationwide discussion about Stasi crimes.

The debut of Florian von Donnersmarck has sold 800,000 tickets in two months in Germany so far.

Loyal Stasi officer

Ulrich Muehe was named best actor for his performance as a loyal Stasi officer who monitors a leading playwright but who doubt his beliefs more and more as the story proceeds.

An archive of Stasi files in Berlin
The secret Stasi police kept secret files on millions of East Germans
"It took a few years before anyone found a clever way to bring into focus a system that kept 17 million people locked up and under suppression," said Muehe.

"I was hoping this film would touch a nerve while we were working on it but you never really know how people will react."

Muehe's acting career began in East Germany, where his life was marred by Stasi informants, including one close to his family.

Among the other films recognised at the Lolas - Germany's equivalent of the Oscars or Britain's Baftas - was Requiem.

A film about exorcism in West Germany set in the 1970s, it received 10 nominations and won four awards, including Sandra Hueller for best actress.

In February, Hueller won the Silver Bear award at the Berlin Film Festival for her role.


BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
See clips from Das Leben der Anderen



SEE ALSO:
The actor's wife and the Stasi files
11 May 06 |  From Our Own Correspondent
Stasi files return to Germany
05 Apr 00 |  Europe
Stasi material on Kohl released
24 Mar 05 |  Europe
Stasi spy's son tells his story
07 May 04 |  Europe
The removal of shrapnel and fear
09 Jun 99 |  From Our Own Correspondent


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