Once home and preparing dinner with his parents Gerald (55) and Rosi (53), Lars overhears something that makes him suspicious. His parents talk about a special delivery at their bookstore the following day at 5am, for which they must bring the material that Rosi put in a cabinet. Lars searches the cabinet, finding under a false bottom copies of the pamphlet and the rubber stamp with the blindfolded eagle.
Before anyone can say a word the doorbell rings. They have guests for dinner: Schulz and his wife. Gerald and Rosi don’t know Schultz is in the Stasi, as he doesn’t know that they’re the heads of the underground movement he’s been investigating.
Is Lars going to follow the law of the State, or the law of his heart?
During a trip to Berlin in 2008, after visiting the Stasi and DDR Museums, I was fascinated. I started to examine the system of values of the East German society, and I found it very similar to that of the Archaic Greece. Specifically, it reminded me of the tragedy Antigone by Sophocles.
Antigone has to decide whether or not to act based on what she believes to be right or submit to the authority of her king. The issue brought up by the tragedy is the value of the laws of the heart versus that of the laws of the state.
Lars, in a way, is a modern Antigone: his journey is one of self-discovery, as well as of understanding of the real value and meaning of loyalty. Lars finds himself at a crossroads and must decide whether to follow his feeling of kinship or his ideology.
Lars is also a film about family, an institution as well as the government. However, it’s much harder to turn our back on our parents than on our superiors.
Lars has been a labor of love for myself, producer Adam Perly, and the entire cast and crew, to whom I will eternally be grateful for letting me “borrow” their immense talent.