Balloon

125 mins.
Directed by Michael Herbig
NR
German with subtitles
2018

The summer of 1979, in Thuringia. Two families forge a daring plan: flee with a self-built hot-air balloon from East Germany to the West in what might be the most spectacular escape attempt from East Germany ever attempted.

After two years of planning, sewing and tinkering, the Strelzyk and Wetzel families are ready to put their daredevil plan into action: fly from the GDR to West Germany in a homemade hot air balloon, eight people in a tiny gondola.

After their initial failure is found out by the authorities, they frantically start building a new, more stable balloon to undertake another attempt to escape.

Based on actual events, director Michael Herbig has staged a captivating thriller that tells the escape of the two families as a breathless race against time.