Balloon (Ballon)

Certificate 12A

(2018) 125 mins

Director: Michael Herbig
Writers: Kit Hopkins, Thilo Röscheisen
Cinematography: Torsten Breuer
Production Design: Bernd Lepel
Music: Marvin Miller, Ralf Wengenmayr


In the summer of 1979, in Thüringen, East Germany, two families  desperate to leave the DDR for the ‘West’ hatch a crazy 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. Although they manage to evade the police, the wreckage from their escape attempt is found and prompts a manhunt. Tension rises as the families determine to try again, and a race against time ensues. The authorities, determined to track down the traitors, become aware that a second attempt is being planned. The would-be escapees, conscious that the search is closing in, need to build a more robust, weatherproof balloon – and avoid leaving too many clues.  With Daniel Kross (star of last season’s The Keeper).

In German with subtitles

For more information, including a full cast list and reviews, go to:


As with other celluloid celebrations of real-life derring-do (The Sound of Music, Apollo13), you have a pretty good idea how things will turn out for the Strelzyk and Wetzel families. But how they do and how close the two clans come to death is told in brisk, heart-stopping style.”  Radio Times

Balloon serves as a solidly gripping account of an unlikely journey to freedom that engages the audience throughout.”

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