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Published on Oct 8, 2014
1989 will take us behind closed doors to follow the savage power game between the key government leaders of the time. Some of them pursued the hope of a free and peaceful Europe. Others saw the collapse of everything they believed in and the annihilation of the very states they ruled. For these men, it became – literally - a battle of life and death. With cutting-edge techniques, using real footage and re-enacted audio we will witness their struggle. The film opens in the marshlands between Hungary and Austria. The ageing iron curtain dividing East from West, is crumbling. The barbed wire is simply rusting away and the electronic warning system, once the pride of the border troops, is becoming completely unreliable. Several times a day, hundreds of troops are rushed out in their trucks as the alarm bells ring, only to realize that another rabbit or wild boar has crossed the border. The electronic fence can be fixed, but only with spare parts from the West bought with hard-currency loans that are already strangling Hungary's frail economy. It is an absurd situation, and in Budapest, the young prime minister, Miklos Nemeth, decides that enough is enough. Unexpected by all, he sends a ball rolling, that ten months later allows the people of Berlin to dance on the Brandenburg Gate. The young minister, however, will soon learn that he has set himself up against formidable opponents, not just the disgruntled hardliners of his own party, but also against two seasoned dictators, Nicolae Ceausescu of Romania and Erich Honecker of the GDR. In their closed circles, they make no secret of their fury and systematically plot against the traitors of the socialist cause. What goes on in their respective conference rooms and also in direct confrontation with the rebellious Hungarians, is what this film – in particular - will bring to life again. However, the film will not be limited to the realm of high politics. It also involves – for instance - a tragic case story of two young East German refugees. Also their discussions and deliberations as they make their way through Europe will be played out in a dramatized soundtrack against real footage of a generic nature. In this case, the technique will be more poetic and a deliberate play with archive material, which will establish an even clearer contract with the audience: this is a creative documentary.