The Lives of Others is a 2006 German film that won the award for Best Foreign Language Film at the 79th Academy Awards. The story takes place in the German Democratic Republic in 1984 and featured Hauptmann Gerd Wiesler (Ulrich Muhe) as a secret service agent who is assigned to conduct surveillance on a famous playwright and his lover. Originally Weisler intends for his monitoring to last only one night, but his curiosity gets the best of him. As Wiesler becomes more involved in their lives, he actively spends his waking hours watching their every movement. He becomes entangled in their romance and lives vicariously through them, so much so that his own life becomes of less importance. His involvement in their lives, however, proves to fatal for them, altering his life forever. Written and directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, the film was one of the most critically acclaimed movies of the year.