Balloon is a 2018 German thriller drama film directed by Michael Herbig. The film depicts the crossing of the Inner German border by two families from the GDR (German Democratic Republic) to West Germany with a self-made hot-air balloon in 1979. This film is based on a true story.
The Strelzyk and Wetzel families have never experienced West German freedom but yearn for it as they struggle to thrive under the stifling limitations, and infamous watch, of the German Democratic Republic. In the summer of 1979, in Thüringen, East Germany, the two families put together a daredevil plan to escape the GDR with a homemade hot air balloon, but it crashes just before the border. 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 Stasi finds traces of this attempt to escape and immediately starts investigations, while the two families are forced to rapidly reconstruct a plan to save them from certain death. With each passing day the Stasi is closer on their heels a nerve-wracking race against time begins.
Released November of 2019 to commemorate the 30th anniversary of German reunification, Balloon brings to life the uplifting and remarkable true story of one of the German Cold War’s most renowned, and near mythical, escape stories.
Watch the movie before Thursday, September 21st, then join the Zoom meeting at 7:00PM and come prepared with your comments and questions. DGC Board Member Marsha McCoy will once again be our moderator, and other Board Members will participate in the discussion as well.
We look forward to seeing you on Thursday, September 21st @ 7:00 PM via Zoom!