7.6/10
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13 user 29 critic

Balloon (2018)

Ballon (original title)
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 »
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Popularity
2,279 ( 415)
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Friedrich Mücke Friedrich Mücke ... Peter Strelzyk
Karoline Schuch 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 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.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

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


Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Germany

Language:

German | English

Release Date:

27 September 2018 (Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Der Ballon See more »

Filming Locations:

Munich, Bavaria, Germany See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

€10 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Atmos

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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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 Charlie's Angels (1976) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Disappointing adaptation of a fascinating true story
4 November 2018 | by sh_bronsteinSee all my reviews

The premise is thrilling: people trying to flee a dictatorship with a hot-air balloon they make themselves... in secret. This story is actually a true story that took place in Thuringia, a part of the German Democratic Republic (communist East Germany). The movie is, unfortunately, an ironed-out piece of story-telling with added corny clichés that made some of the people in the movie theater laugh - even though the story is dead-serious! This is bad! Yes, it is very bad. The acting is so card-board like, it is impossible to take the actors seriously. Even if the story is set in Thuringia, a region where people speak German with a very distinct accent, the actors don't even try speaking with this accent for the sake of credibility (Imagine a movie set in Alabama in the US South in which all actors speak like New Yorkers - that is how misplaced the actors' accent is!). The script writer added a laughable romantic subplot to the story that was truly unnecessary. The film's music is full of pathos and emotion, so much of it that it becomes ludicrous. It is sad to see an exciting real-life story so badly adapted to the screen.


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