Premiere of the feature film 'Ballon' at the 14th Zurich Film Festival 2018.

Premiere of the feature film 'Ballon' at the 14th Zurich Film Festival 2018., © picture alliance / Geisler-Fotopress | Anita Bugge/Geisler-Fotopress


The focus of the next session for the English-language KINO! FILM SALON online film club on May 12th will be Michael Bully Herbig’s political thriller BALLOON. The film tells the true story of the Strelzyk and Wetzel families, who ventured to flee from the GDR to the West in a home-made hot air balloon in 1979 - one of the most spectacular escape stories in GDR history. Michael Bully Herbig is considered one of the most successful German directors, writers, producers and actors. With BALLOON, he entered completely new territory, making his first “serious” film out of the true story, a breathless thriller that is extremely exciting from the start. Herbig himself says: “We tell of courageous people who wanted freedom and firmly believed that they would achieve their goal. This is the fascination of their history, which is also German history.”

German Film Office's curator Jim Kolmar selected this movie: “Michael Herbig’s spirited film from 2018 recounts the tale of two East German families who build a home-made hot air balloon in an attempt to flee to the West, and to freedom. Set in 1979, BALLOON is rich in period detail, from the costumes to the superbly rendered production design. The craft and attention to detail adds deep authenticity to a film that leans unapologetically towards an old-school charm that’s greatly helped by a vibrant cast. The result is a gripping historical drama that deftly balances heart-stopping, classic thriller elements with thoughtful political gravitas and a stirring depiction of human tenacity. It’s the kind of film that’s all too rare in today’s cinema landscape.”

RSVP here

Date and time: Sunday, May 12 at 11:00am – 12:00pm PT | 2:00pm – 3:00pm ET | 8:00pm – 9:00pm CET
Hosted by Jim Kolmar

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