7.5/10
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34 user 55 critic
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0:24 | Trailer
Balloon is a German thriller that deals with the crossing of the inner German border of the families Strelzyk and Wetzel from the GDR to West Germany with a homemade hot-air balloon.

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 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:

Based on True Events See more »


Certificate:

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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

Referenced in Estrenos Críticos: Septiembre 2019 (2019) See more »

User Reviews

 
Wunderbar!
15 April 2019 | by FrenchEddieFelsonSee all my reviews

This film is based on a true story and recounts an evasion attempt, from GDR to FRG, in 1979 during the Cold War, with two families ballooning over a heavily guarded area, starting from Pößneck, a small town within Thuringia, knowing that the shortest distance as the crow flies to reach Bavaria and the Western Bloc is about 25 km. We may see this movie as a commemoration of the manifold unsuccessful attempts and also, in slight advance, of the 30 years of the fall of the Berlin Wall (1989) and the German reunification (1990).

It's well played, suspenseful and points up two main issues: 1) The secret preparation of such an expedition, in a country which is supposed to be a republic if one refers naively to the acronym GDR, and which turns out to be a dictatorship controlling every gesture and every word, thanks to the Stasi. 2) Leaving those who are not part of the expedition and who stay in the GDR such as grandparents or friends, in order to start a new life, ex nihilo. Otherwise, even though it might be a part of the same true story, the episode of the cigarette pack and the American embassy is too showy and, in my humble opinion, pollutes the film.

Finally, despite a decade studying German, from college to the end of my studies, I am not sensitive enough to the subtleties of variations of accents between the different Länder, contrary to sh_bronstein, in his review dating from November 2018. Although his rating is harsh, I find that his review is relevant but does not concern me. Fortunately somehow.


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Details

Official Sites:

Official site [Japan]

Country:

Germany

Language:

German | English

Release Date:

21 February 2020 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ballon See more »

Filming Locations:

Munich, Bavaria, Germany See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

EUR10 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$34,222

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$13,562,317
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Atmos

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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