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Germany in the Loud Twentieth CenturyAn Introduction$
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Florence Feiereisen and Alexandra Merley Hill

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199759392

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199759392.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 27 October 2021

Audibility Is a Trap

Audibility Is a Trap

Aural Panopticon in The Lives of Others (2006)

(p.125) Chapter 8 Audibility Is a Trap
Germany in the Loud Twentieth Century

Christiane Lenk

Oxford University Press

Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck’s Das Leben der Anderen shows surveillance by the Stasi as an integral part of the East German past. Yet surveillance is not solely achieved through sight, but more importantly through sophisticated methods of eavesdropping. Aural surveillance is the focus of this chapter, which uses Michel Foucault’s Panopticon as the basis for analyzing the power relations between observer and observed, and how the observed internalizes the system of oppression. This chapter explores the two functions of sound in the film: sound as a means of oppression, and at the same time as a vehicle to overcome it.

Keywords:   Das Leben der Anderen, Stasi, East Germany, Foucault, Panopticon, surveillance

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