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A thriller-like true story of one of the most spectacular escapes of the 20th Century. With a theatrical release to coincide with the 30th anniversary of Germany’s reunification, BALLOON is based on the true events of one of the most daring escapes of the Cold War in which two families living in Communist East Germany sailed over the heavily fortified border in a homemade hot-air balloon.
In the summer of 1979, the Strelzyk and Wetzel families—who had been working on their audacious plan for more than two years—try to flee East Germany in a self-made hot-air balloon. But after the balloon crash-lands just before the West German border, the Stasi find traces of the attempted escape and immediately launch an investigation. In a nerve-wracking race against the clock, the two families attempt to build a new escape balloon as the Stasi get closer and closer each day…
“Filmmaker Herbig and his team prove to be especially adept at contriving situations where anything anyone does causes fear, anxiety, stress and worry, leaving everyone, very much including the audience, existing on the knife’s edge of unremitting tension.”— Los Angeles Times
“BALLOON revels in exploring the details of every possible kind of danger these people face, so it’s a nerve-wincher, a cracking good escape thriller…“— National Review