7.6/10
2,768
13 user 30 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 »
Reviews
Popularity
2,244 ( 35)
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

German artist Kurt Barnert has escaped East Germany and now lives in West Germany, but is tormented by his childhood under the Nazis and the GDR-regime.

Director: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck
Stars: Tom Schilling, Sebastian Koch, Paula Beer
Der Vorname (2018)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Stephan (Christoph Maria Herbst) and his wife Elisabeth (Caroline Peters) organize a dinner in their house in Bonn. Invited are family friend René (Justus von Dohnányi), Thomas (Florian ... See full summary »

Director: Sönke Wortmann
Stars: Iris Berben, Florian David Fitz, Christoph Maria Herbst
25 km/h (2018)
Adventure | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Two very different brothers reunite and start for a very special journey; a road trip on their motorbikes which they imagined in their childhood.

Director: Markus Goller
Stars: Lars Eidinger, Bjarne Mädel, Sandra Hüller
Gundermann (2018)
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The movie deals with the real life story of East German singer and writer Gerhard Gundermann and his struggles with music, life as a coal miner and his dealings with the secret police (STASI) of the GDR.

Director: Andreas Dresen
Stars: Peter Schneider, Bjarne Mädel, Alexander Scheer
Abgeschnitten (2018)
Action | Crime | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Thriller set in the world of Forensic Pathology. Coroner Paul Herzfeld finds a capsule in the head of a heavily mutilated corpse, containing a phone number and single word: the name of his daughter.

Director: Christian Alvart
Stars: Moritz Bleibtreu, Jasna Fritzi Bauer, Lars Eidinger
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Filmmaker Michael Moore examines the current state of American politics, particularly the Donald Trump presidency and gun violence, while highlighting the power of grassroots democratic movements.

Director: Michael Moore
Stars: Jim Acosta, Roger Ailes, Brooke Baldwin
100 Things (2018)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Best friends Toni and Paul decide to relinquish all of their belongings for 100 days, whereby they receive one of their items back on each day. During this challenge the two realize, that ... See full summary »

Director: Florian David Fitz
Stars: Florian David Fitz, Matthias Schweighöfer, Miriam Stein
Wackersdorf (2018)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Director: Oliver Haffner
Stars: Anna Maria Sturm, Fabian Hinrichs, Marlene Morreis
Hunter Killer (2018)
Action | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

An untested American submarine captain teams with U.S. Navy Seals to rescue the Russian president, who has been kidnapped by a rogue general.

Director: Donovan Marsh
Stars: Gerard Butler, Gary Oldman, Common
Comedy | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Cyril falls head over heel for the new girl in his class. Roxy is drop dead gorgeous and she is cool. But there is a problem. Cyril is terribly self conscious because he's got a rather ... See full summary »

Director: Aron Lehmann
Stars: Johannes Allmayer, Désirée Angersbach, Julia Beautx
Jungle I (2017)
Action | Adventure | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A group of friends join a guide for a trek into the Bolivian jungle, searching for an Indian village. The men soon realize that the jungle is a difficult place to be.

Director: Greg McLean
Stars: Daniel Radcliffe, Yasmin Kassim, Luis Jose Lopez
Hotel Mumbai (2018)
Drama | History | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The true story of the Taj Hotel terrorist attack in Mumbai. Hotel staff risk their lives to keep everyone safe as people make unthinkable sacrifices to protect themselves and their families.

Director: Anthony Maras
Stars: Dev Patel, Armie Hammer, Nazanin Boniadi
Edit

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)
Edit

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:

See all certifications »
Edit

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 »

Edit

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 »
Edit

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 »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

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.


21 of 24 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 13 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed