In 2007 in Das Leben der Anderen/The Life of Others (awarded the Oscar for Best Foreign Film) we saw how in the former DDR the Stasi spied on and devastated people’s lives. The award-winning film Zwei Leben/Two Lives provides new insight into Stasi practices. This is the first time the historical events underlying Two Lives have been depicted on film and they give this thriller an undeniable appeal.
By 1990 Katrine has been living in Norway for 20 years. It is a year since the fall of the Berlin Wall. She was born to an unmarried couple, an SS officer and a Norwegian woman during WW II. As a baby, Katrine was placed by the Nazis in an East German orphanage. She was one of the children known as the ‘Lebensborn Kinder’ or ‘Fount of Life children’ whose Aryan blood was highly prized under the system of Nazi eugenics. Twenty-five years pass after WWII before Katrine is able to flee the DDR, find her mother in Norway and start a family of her own. But in the years that follow, from 1971 to 1990 Katrine has actually been working secretly for the Stasi. Now, in 1990 the identities of Stasi members look set to be revealed.
Two Lives jumps back and forth between Katrina’s double life in 1990 and the period in her past when she was trained for her espionage duties. This flashback structure provides a good insight into Katrina’s dilemma. She has long since lost her passion for her Stasi work and knows that she owes it to her family to tell them the truth… Little by little, her dark secrets are revealed and propel the plot towards a surprising, exciting denouement. (RvB)