East Germany, 1979. After initially failing to flee from the East to the West in a self-built hot-air balloon, two families struggle to make a second attempt, while the East German State Police are chasing them.

Director:

Michael Herbig (as Michael Bully Herbig)

Writers:

Kit Hopkins (screenplay), Thilo Röscheisen (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Friedrich Mücke ... Peter Strelzyk
Karoline Schuch ... Doris Strelzyk
David Kross ... Günter Wetzel
Alicia von Rittberg ... Petra Wetzel
Thomas Kretschmann ... Oberstleutnant Seidel
Jonas Holdenrieder Jonas Holdenrieder ... Frank Strelzyk
Tilman Döbler Tilman Döbler ... Andreas 'Fitscher' Strelzyk
Christian Näthe ... Hauptmann Heym
Till Patz Till Patz ... Peterchen Wetzel
Ben Teichmann Ben Teichmann ... Andreas Wetzel
Ronald Kukulies Ronald Kukulies ... Erik Baumann
Emily Kusche ... Klara Baumann
Sebastian Hülk ... Oberfeldwebel Lesch
Gernot Kunert Gernot Kunert ... Oberstleutnant Schirra
Ulrich Brandhoff ... Oberstleutnat Tornow (as Ulrich Friedrich Brandhoff)
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Storyline

In the summer of 1979, in Thüringen, in East Germany, two families put together a crazy plan. They are desperate to leave the DDR for the 'West' and plan to flee in a homemade hot air balloon. After sewing and tinkering for weeks, the amateurs make their first attempt. Meters from the West German border, their balloon suffers from the rain and crash lands. Luckily, they manage to avoid being caught by the police. However, the wreckage from their escape attempt is found and that triggers a desperate manhunt. The tension rises as the families determine to try again, and a race against time ensues. On the one hand, the authorities, desperate to track down the traitors, become aware that a second attempt is being planned. On the other, the would-be escapees, conscious of the search drawing ever nearer, need to build a more robust, weatherproof balloon - and avoid leaving too many clues.

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Taglines:

Für die Freiheit riskierten sie alles. (For freedom they risked it all.) See more »


Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film depicts the construction and launching of two improvised hot-air balloons. There were actually three. The first was an utter failure, because they had utilized a cotton-based fabric that was porous and leaked air massively. See more »

Crazy Credits

The closing credits show multiple photos of the real-life subjects of the film: including hospital photos of Wetzel (whose leg was broken on impact) and East German crime scene photos of the first failed balloon attempt. See more »

Connections

References Night Crossing (1982) See more »

User Reviews

 
Masterpiece
26 December 2018 | by marcocestoneSee all my reviews

Great Actors, thrilling action, phantastic film music. Director Michael Herbig finds the right tonality to tell this true story. Must See!


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Details

Official Sites:

Official site [Japan]

Country:

Germany | France | USA

Language:

German | English

Release Date:

27 September 2018 (Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Balloon See more »

Filming Locations:

Munich, Bavaria, Germany See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$34,222

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$11,799,591
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Atmos

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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