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The Decomposition of the Soul Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 10 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: This documentary explores the treatment of prisoners under the East German Secret Police.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 10
  2. Negative: 0 out of 10
  1. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    Released simultaneously in the U.S. with Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck's Oscar-nominated fictional thriller "The Lives of Others," this chilling 82-minute documentary about three souls destroyed by the Stasi, the notorious secret police of East Germany, puts a cold, factual gloss on what might otherwise be taken for fiction.
  2. A documentary, thoughtfully made.
  3. 75
    There are touching interviews with a couple of former inmates...The most riveting part of The Decomposition of the Soul is their return to the prison, which was closed in 1989 and turned into a memorial to its victims.
  4. 70
    Darkly poetic study of psychological brutality.
  5. Reviewed by: Ken Eisner
    A thorny subject is handled with care in this meticulous reconstruction of life inside the East German police state, as boiled down to the experiences of just two ex-inmates -- one man and one woman --- of a notorious Stasi prison. Overall effect is poetically thought-provoking, not depressing.
  6. The decomposition of the soul is the goal of a Stasi incarceration, the promised end for an enemy of the state, and there is something about the movie’s pacing--the silences, the drone of the narration ("The name of your enemy is hope?…?")--that wears you down.
  7. This kind of glance at history is a poor substitute for a hard, steady and expansive examination.

See all 10 Critic Reviews