Some movies are made purely for entertainment purposes. Others are made for us to learn something or to remind us about the past times. Der Tunnel definitely belongs to the latter category. Directed by Roland Suso Richter this German film tells the story about a struggle against the communist government in East Germany.
Although I did live and vaguely remember communist times in Poland, I have certainly not experienced them in the way this movie’s characters did. I was eleven when Solidarity freed Poland from the communist oppression. The only thing that I can remember clearly were the endless queues at the shopping malls. Nowadays they may seem funny, but back at the day they were not quite so. Not to mention, that this was one of the lightest indication of the communism. Der Tunnel shows us much darker side of those times. One thing, which is not that surprising, is the fact that Communist Germany was not much different from Communist Poland.
Most of the action takes place in East Germany, during the early sixties. It was 1961 when The Berlin Wall construction started. As you might have already guessed, the title of the movie is the actual tunnel which was built underneath it. The movie tells a story of East Berliners trying to escape to the West.
At moments Der Tunnel is very touching, other times melodramatic, but almost all the time it is very tense, which is quite surprising for a 167 minutes long feature. There were moments when my adrenaline level jumped like crazy. At other times I cried like a little baby…
I have no words to describe the feelings that shattered my heart while watching Der Tunnel. I can recommend it heartily. The thing that makes watching it even more worthwhile is that it is based on facts. This story (together with many other similar ones) has really happened in Berlin.