East Berlin, 1984. Capt. Gerd Wiesler, Stasi officer and surveillance specialist has a simple assignment: keep an eye on Georg Dreyman, a respected playwright, and his actress girlfriend, Christa-Maria Sieland. Though Dreyman is known to associate with blacklisted director Albert Jerska, a known dissident, Dreyman's record is spotless. Wiesler discovers that Minister Hempf has an ulterior motive in spying on this seemingly upright citizen. During the investigation, Wiesler unexpectedly finds himself in sympathy with the people - or at least to this one particular person.