January 24, 2022 2:12 pm

Review of ‘The Honest Spy’: Cold Drawing of Stasi Tentacles



The first movie of Franziska Stünkel It takes place in that not so far East Berlin and tells a story so cold and so precise that one locates its low temperature as in that image of the motionless drop on the tip of the nose. The calculated and eloquent argument is almost a tutorial on how a minnow gleefully enters the web from which it is not possible to leave. The central character is a young professor, a scientist, who with his partner is preparing to undertake a routine professional path and who, an invisible bait and a medium ambition, lead him to a position in the secret services of the GDR.

It was not necessary to clarify it, but it is based on real events, and the reality of that time and that society is described with a great variety of textures, details and aromas, a bit in the style of that masterpiece by Florian Henckel entitled ‘The life of the others’.

The narrative focuses on two places without precise physics, the operation or functioning of those sordid operations at the service of the State and the conscience of the protagonist, who moves and changes color as if by pushing.

Although it is known from the cinema (many know it from life) the capacity to control and influence the existence of the people of those services for the security of the State, in short, the Stasi, Franziska Stünkel here he manages with chilling simplicity to detail the very low value of ‘the lives of others’ and the depth and sordidness with which those tentacles dominated intimacy. In the physical, in the psychological, in the work, sexual and emotional, everything wrapped in a terrible hypocrisy that turns the tragic into almost caricature.

The actor Lars Eidinger It provides the character with a credible conglomeration of naivety and doubleness, which does not completely remove him from the feeling of the viewer, who experiences his pressure and oppression. The story travels along the intended track, but suffers from neither intrigue nor tension, it is agile, harsh, sordid and, in a way, comforting and eloquent. Unless you have other ideas and other naughtiness in your head.

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