The Berlin Wall: Escape to Freedom

The Berlin Wall: Escape to Freedom


What should be a straightforward history of the Berlin Wall and the attempts to cross it from east to west is marred by an over-emphatic voiceover that makes terminology like “a deadly mega-wall” and the “death strip” that lay in between sound like something from a video game, when they were anything but, and cheesy reconstructions.

Get past that, however, and the stories are proof of the determination of so many to escape the strictures of life under the Stasi. As the Wall got bigger – or entered its second, third and fourth generation, as this puts it, as if it were some kind of mobile phone – so the escape attempts grew more creative. I particularly liked the story of the three Bethke brothers, whose ingenuity saw them all get to the West in one piece. Not everyone was so lucky.


Documentary exploring the history of the wall and looking at the stories of those who tried to breach it, from running through the barbed wire to driving trucks through barriers.