Presented by the Goethe Institute Boston.
Two families forge a daring plan in Thuringia in the summer of 1979. They want to flee with a self-built hot-air balloon from East Germany to the West in what might have been the most spectacular escape attempt from East Germany ever undertaken.
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 defect.
Based on actual events, director Michael Herbig has staged a captivating thriller that depicts the escape of the two families as a breathless race against time.