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Anti-communist East German swimming champion Harry Melchior (Heino Ferch) narrowly escapes the Communist regime just after the Berlin Wall is completed, and is determined to rescue his beloved sister, whom he was forced to leave behind.
A gripping escape plan provides the narrative spine to The Tunnel, an exciting Cold War story. This film fictionalizes the true story of the digging of a 430-foot tunnel running under the Berlin Wall in 1964, as tunnel rats on the west side labor to find a way out for friends and family in the Communist East. The principals are led by a famous German swimmer (the excellent Heino Ferch, sort of the German Bruce Willis), whose sister is trapped in East Berlin. Juicy characters abound, including some compromised East Berliners and unlikely heroes on the West side. Also incorporated into this story is an American TV news crew shooting the digging as it goes along. Director Roland Suso Richter shot The Tunnel for television and if it is somewhat artless, it still grabs the viewer in irresistible suspense--and sustains the tension for 167 minutes. Like its heroes, this film is dogged and emotionally committed. --Robert Horton
- Making-of Featurette (25 minutes)
- Theatrical trailer
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There are excellent performances all around, not the least of which is Heino Ferch as Harry, a champion swimmer who leads and inspires the group with a fierce determination. Sebastian Koch ("The Lives of Others") as Mattich, the engineer, provides the brains of the operation. Among other key members of the group is a young woman, Fritzi, played by Nicolette Krebitz, who is trying to rescue her fiance from behind the wall. Crisis falls on the heels of crisis, and we watch to the end, never sure that the project will be a success. Without giving anything away, it can be said that the final half hour will have you breathless. A very well-made film, with a strong script and fine ensemble acting.
[ASIN:0859654796 Freak Out! My Life with Frank Zappa]]
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And its achievement is worth a life.Read more