Marcus Vetter revisited with them the original locations and included in his film not only the NBC material, but also interviews of refugees and tunnel builders. The result is a fascinating story of courage and hope.

September 1962: A tunnel is driven from West to East Berlin. Four Berlin students are the initiators of the professionally and thoroughly organized project: The Italians Mimmo and Gigi, civil engineer Ulli and his friend Hasso.   They all want to free friends, family members and lovers from the East: Those who are not in touch with anybody “over there” help digging for idealistic reasons as their “concern” was completely actual. “We wanted to help those we knew and hurt those we hated.” Peter, the man who was the reason for the idea of the tunnel to be born, was the only of the refugees who really took advantage of the new freedom: he was looking for a way to the wide world and until recently travelled through South America without a halt. What was driving him was not an excessive desire for freedom – his fate also turns the tunnel into a melodrama. Peter and four of the tunnel builders are seen in front of the camera. By turns they reconstruct the history of the tunnel. Their narration gains authenticity by original footage from the NBC archives shot on location in 1962 and by scenes reproduced today.  

A production of ARD, SWR and ARTE

Year of production 2000
Lenght 89 minutes
A production of ARD, SWR, ARTE
In cooperation with Filmperspektive GmbH
Director Marcus Vetter
Co-Director Achim Johne
Director of Photography Christoph Lerch
Immo Rentz
Jörg Widmer
Editing Renate Nebe
Sound Rudolf Schwarz
Heiko Toman
Light Achim Johne
Commissioning editor Susan Schulte (SWR)


2000  Adolf Grimme Award
2000 German Television Award
2000 German Camera Award (Editing)
2000 Prix Europa
2001 Jupiter Award


2000  Docfilm Festival Leibzig
2003 Hot Docs, Canada