Writer: John McGreevey (Screenplay)
Starring: John Hurt, Jane Alxeander, Doug McKeon, Keith McKeon, Beau Bridges, Glynnis O’Connor
Plot: Two men want to escape from East Germany, but they will only go if they can take their families with them.
Tagline – The East German border: 836 miles of barbed wire walls, automated machine guns, armed guards, and deadly land mines. On September 15, 1979 two families tried to cross it.
Runtime: 1 Hour 45 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Brave Story
Story: Night Crossing starts as we go to East Germany in 1979, The Strelzyk family, Peter (Hurt), Doris (Alexander), Frank (D.McKeon) and Fitscher (K.McKeon) who are getting tired of not being able to go to the west side of Germany, one they see as fairer. The friendship between this family and the Wetzel’s Gunter (Bridges) and Petra (O’Connor) keeps them strong, while they see the friends trying to escape getting killed.
When Peter comes up with up the idea to build a balloon with Gunter to escape, it will mean working in secret because getting caught will only see him killed. When Gunter leaves for family reasons, Peter must keep the idea within the family for the hope for their future.
Thoughts on Night Crossing
Characters – Peter is a father that has been living with his family in Eastern Germany, he is getting tired of the lack of change or unity with the Western side and decides he wants to risk his family’s life to escape, he plans to build a balloon which would fly over the borders in place. Doris is the wife of Peter, she is reluctant to help at first, but soon sees this being the only option. Gunter is the friend that wants to help build the balloon, only for his wife to push him into staying behind because of the young age of their children. Petra is Gunter’s wife that doesn’t want to risk their infant children with an escape plan so dangerous.
Performances – John Hurt in the leading role is the strongest member of the cast, he shows that even a common man can have the hope required for his character. Jane Alexander and Glynnis O’Connor are both fitting the wife type of role which doesn’t get much else to do. Beau Bridges completes the cast with a performance that shows just how young men would have been affected in this world.
Story – The story follows two families that work together to find a way to escape East Germany and get into West Germany in the late 70s, they must risk everything for this, which is failing would see them face certain death. this is a story of inspiration that showed us just how much people were willing to risk escaping a land they couldn’t live their natural life without being dictated too, it shows the patience to make it happen and how family can inspire you to risk everything.
Family/History – This might be classed as a family film that is because of the families involved in trying to make this high risk situation happen, the history of their escape is one that could inspire many who were trapped in the land.
Settings – The film is set in the harsh living conditions the families would have been living in and how secretive their plan would have been to make happen.
Final Thoughts – This is an inspiration story of two family’s determination to make it out of a life which didn’t offer them a true future.
Overall: True story that shows bravery and inspiration.