A reaction to the erection of the Berlin Wall on August 13, 1961 was the provision of secret routes for East Berliners to escape into freedom in West Berlin. One such was a tunnel that ... See full summary »
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Based on a true story a group of East Berliners escaping to the West. Harry Melchior was a champion East German swimmer at odds with the system under which he has already been imprisoned. On his own escape, he is determined the arrange the escape to the West of his sister and her family. The idea of the tunnel is born, but the project does not run smoothly. The participants struggle not only with the massive logistics of their task, but betrayal from friends in the East. And always the East German police are close to discovering the plot.Written by
West Berliners dig a tunnel under the Berlin Wall, hoping to get their loved ones out of East Berlin. This is an exciting, fact-based drama that is well acted by a German cast. The running time of nearly three hours is somewhat excessive but the story is interesting enough that it rarely drags. The characters are well developed. There are a couple of emotional scenes that become too melodramatic and stray from the central plot line. For the most part, however, the filmmakers wisely stay focused on the the building of the tunnel. The tension builds nicely in the final part, as the escape plan is put in motion. The random use of black and white cinematography is distracting.
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