The Decomposition of the Soul

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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. 100
    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
    Decomposition bears powerful, uncompromising witness to man's inhumanity to man, which is one of the most important things any documentary can do, though, it's also one of the most grueling.
  4. 70
    The Decomposition of the Soul is a deliberately confining movie, but unlike "The Lives of Others," it offers no closure.
  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