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The Tunnel [DVD] 
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This incredible true story takes place in Berlin, 1961. Germany is a country divided. Harry Melchior has narrowly escaped the communist regime of East Berlin and now in the West is determined to free his sister who was not so lucky. Joined by others also desperate to free their loved ones, they have an audacious plan: to tunnel beneath the wall and the 'death strip' patrolled by border guards. But not everyone can be trusted and they are soon digging for their lives in a nerve-racking race against time.
Starring Heino Ferch (Downfall) and Sebastian Koch (Black Book, The Lives of Others), this award-winning drama has been called the most exciting German film since Das Boot and grips to the very end.
UK DVD PREMIERE
Riveting ... white knuckle tension (DVDtalk.com)
Superb ... Incredible suspense (Washington Post)
THE MOST EXCITING FILM FROM GERMANY SINCE DAS BOOT (LA Times)
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The story itself is a fascinating one, escape to freedom, the effects of psychological torture and blackmail upon a populous that feels lost and trapped behind a wall. My main criticism of this film is that it is over long and I was getting very bored in places. It could just do with speeding up in places, especially the actual building of the tunnel. I am not saying this is a bad film, as it is not, but in certain places I feel the editor could have cut a bit of the detail and the two main actors performance could have been a bit more dynamic.
This is an interesting, historical, made for TV film, that is in parts, enthralling, sad and nerve racking. It is worth watching, but needs a bit of editing to speed it up.
If you have any interest at all in the Cold War period or just enjoy an exciting drama, this film is strongly recommended. And if you are unfamiliar with the time when the divide between democracy and communism split Europe in two, it will be educational as well.
This is the story of Harry Melchior (Heino Ferch) who is a champion swimmer for the GDR but is one of the escapees who got out early when the wall was in its infancy. He has been imprisoned after the 1952 rising and has no love for the methods of East Germany. He has a sister and her family on the other side and once he gets to freedom, he joins a group of like minded Germans to get their friends and families out. They decide to go for the tunnel option as one of their number is an engineer and knows exactly how to do it.
This is quite an old film (2000) but I have only just got around to seeing it and it is one of those I should have seen yonks ago. The tension is palpable through out which is some achievement for a film that lasts 160 minutes. The acting is all superb and the claustrophobia of the tunnel is extraordinary.
There is also great attention to period detail from the cars to the music and I liked the queues for food that were typical of the Warsaw pact countries at this time, we also get references to the luxury of Trabant ownership!. With love interests, double crosses, action and bags of emotion this film has all points covered. So for a great film set in Germany that is not about war (well not a warm one anyhow), you can't get much better than this, I thoroughly recommend.
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