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on 2 March 2017
The film is quite extraordinary and although it was supported by sub-titles I have give it a 5 Star award. The acting was a tad above anything you would expect to see come out of Hollywood and the character Lotte Lohmann, played by Alexandra Lara, was like nothing I have seen before. The film is more than two and a half hours long but it holds you through to the very end. For those who enjoy the cold war films you will not get anything better than this.
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I adore foreign films and especially adore films based upon historical fact and that have political undertones, such as this one. I think of a German films such as Goodbye Lenin, Other Peoples Lives or Downfall as being as near to perfection as I could want. This film is a story that is based upon historical fact and its central theme, escape from political tyranny. It should tick all the boxes, but somehow it just didn't. The overall acting was good, but could have been just that bit better. The main leads are played by Heino Ferch (Albert Speer in Downfall) and Alexandra Maria Lara (Traudl Junge in Downfall). Watching these two act, all I could think of was Downfall and how they acted in much the same way in that film. I am sorry but for me, they just were not believable in this film.

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.

Recommended.
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on 14 April 2017
Excellent - on the edge of your seat - at times. Apparently there were many attempts to dig under the Berlin wall. Some successful, but not all. This is a really good story.
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on 24 June 2011
This true story follows a group of people in West Berlin in 1961 digging a tunnel beneath the infamous wall and the death zone into East Berlin, in the hope of getting relatives and friends over to freedom. The East German secret police Stasi suspect something is about to happen, and keep most of those still in the east under surveillance, even turning one of them into an informer. So for all, there is a race against time. The main characters are well drawn, their strength and weaknesses give a deep human touch to the story. When you know that it is all true and really happened not that long ago, it is impossible not to admire those who risked so much to save their loved ones. Even at 160 minutes, your attention is held throughout. And don't miss the credits at the end, you'll learn what happened to the characters next.

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.
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on 1 December 2016
Very good, but a shame about the bad language.
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on 2 September 2011
What a wonderful DVD. How quickly we forget what misery the Berlin Wall and its creators brought to these people. This movie is a great reminder of how hideous division can be, whether it is for political, racial, religious or cultural reasons. This movie is a credit to all involved and makes me want to learn more about the courageous people portrayed.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 6 September 2012
It is August 1961, Berlin is divided and the German Democratic Republic (GDR) has decided that Western Imperialism and military aggression means that they have to protect East Berlin from the Capitalist wooing of the West. So they start to build a wall.

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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on 8 January 2012
The enveloping terror and drabness and cloying evil of totalitarianism is inconceivable - at least to me - unless you have experienced it until you watch a film like "the lives of others". While that intensity of lives compromised is less powerfully evoked in this film, it is still a spellbinding film and it is quite unclear how it will end until the credits start. It feels so real. There is so much which is confusing but the passion, is quite believable and compelling. In a film where the claustrophobia should be suffocating, the opposite feelings are evoked where in a selfish world some people are prepared to do so much, sacrifice so much for others. A fabulous film!
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on 23 November 2012
took a chance on this film as some people seem to go into overdrive with their stars!!!...but this one didn't let me down good from start to finish..well made ,good acting and keeps you focused right to the end.If you have clicked onto the film then buy it.
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on 1 October 2012
This will be short and sweet. I have not seen this movie since I bought it at least a year ago (lack of region 1 player) but I can still remember the power that this film has. It will have you in tears, there's no doubt about that.
Buy this film, it will stay with you forever.
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