In 1978 in East Germany two families, the Strelzyks and the Wetzels,make plans to escape the Communist East and flee to the West. Peter Strelzyk comes up with a daring idea to construct a homemade air balloon big enough to carry the two families across the East-West militarized border. The border between East and West Germany is heavily militarized, complete with watch towers, guard dogs, barbed-wire, alarms, sensors, search lights and patrols. Rumors have it that some areas of the militarized border are mined. The only chance of crossing the border is by air. The Strelzyks and the Wetzels commence their risky venture by purchasing lots of taffeta fabric and sewing it together with a sewing machine in the attic. Peter Strelzyk builds an experimental homemade hot air balloon burner. In 1979 when the balloon is ready Peter and his son test it but the Wetzel family becomes hesitant. The Strelzyks decide to go alone but bad weather causes the balloon to crash inside the Communist zone. ... Written by
Must see for everyone who thinks that freedom is free - it is NOT!
Probably grossly underrated by all who never experienced the hell of living under communist regime. Although, it seems hard to believe, all of it happened, actually the reality was even worse than the movie. It resembles Orwellian fiction, only this is no fiction. John Hurt is excellent as always. Yes, the screenplay is not full of action, but life is not either. Plot is breathtaking. Yes, people were shot, yes thousands of them. Their 'crime' was that they wanted to leave communist 'paradise' without government authorization. At times the movie drives tears in your eyes. We need more movies like this to really appreciate what America provides for us. Excellent movie, highly recommend! God bless our country, USA!
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