An adventurous story about the "real" happenings of November 9, 1989 in Germany, the day the wall came down! For ten-year-old Frederike (10) October 1989 gets off to a disastrous start: her... See full summary »
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An adventurous story about the "real" happenings of November 9, 1989 in Germany, the day the wall came down! For ten-year-old Frederike (10) October 1989 gets off to a disastrous start: her beloved Uncle Mike (27) is expelled from the GDR and has to leave the country within 48 hours. Inspired by her big idol Captain Kirk, Frederike and her friends Jonathan (10) and Fabian (10) construct a teleporting machine to "beam" herself to West Berlin to visit her uncle Mike. But the experiment dramatically fails. Instead of successfully beaming the three kids across, the entire village population disappears! For a moment it seems that Frederike and her friends are the last remaining kids on earth. But TV proves what Frederike had immediately suspected: they have managed to beam everybody but themselves to West Berlin. They witness on TV how their families and friends desperately try to climb back over the Wall to their home country. Only quick thinking and action can undo the experiment and ... Written by
Don't believe what history books tell you. Markus Dietrich's first full-length feature includes the true story behind the fall of the Berlin Wall. Most of the action takes place during a small town in East Germany in November 1989, very few days before the Wall came down. The GDR is crumbling and we get to witness a Volkspolizei officer (played by Devid Striesow, probably the biggest name in the cast) desperately trying to keep up the facade. The center of the film, however, are a little girl and her friends. When she learns that her beloved uncle managed to leave the GDR for West Germany, she's determined to build a machine that gets him back to her. She's assisted by a few of her fellow pupils who all seem to be crushing on her. The child actors all do an okay job. I wasn't really wowed with any of them, but they weren't really bad either. Of course it helped that they're supposed to play children who really did not understand the gravity and political climate back in the day (in contrast to the grown-up characters) and thus did not have really so much to bring to their roles other than playing innocent, yet determined, pupils.
My favorite scene was probably early one when one of the pupils accused another that she tripped him up. It was pretty much a really good metaphor with the accuser being the classroom equivalent to a SED-member true to party principles and it shows they basically have to grasp for straws to punish people and it's always unethical and unjustified. I have to say I wasn't really interested in all the sci-fi stuff or time travel references included and they often just felt too absurd, but the kids who watched the film during my showing really enjoyed these, so they're a worthy addition I guess.
I hear some people moan already: "oh please, there's already "Lives of Others", "Sonnenallee", "Herr Lehmann" and many more, please not another GDR Berlin Wall movie", but wait a minute. This one has some factors which make it interesting on its own. For example, there's really not that many of these films who are worth a watch for children. They will certainly not understand the real significance behind Germany in 1989/1990, especially if they haven't dealt with this issue at school yet, but they will always catch snippets they may remember later and parents can explain some things to them too of course. In addition, the main antagonist isn't really too scary either, which is sometimes a bit of a problem for children films, so no nightmares or something might happen. And besides, this may even be the first GDR-themed film that included science-fiction elements. All in all it's a pretty decent effort, especially for a first film and can make a good watch with the family.
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