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We’ve worked with Distrib Films, the distributor of BALLOON, to make it possible for you to see the film — and your ticket purchase helps support the Belcourt.

For $10, you can purchase a ticket for BALLOON — and you’ll have a 3-day / 72-hour window to watch it. (Note: You’ll need to create an account with Distrib Films to pay for your ticket, but no monthly or annual subscription is needed.)

Distrib Films will share a portion of your ticket payment with the Belcourt. Please note that this arrangement, in these unprecedented times, means we’re unable to offer member pricing. Thanks for your understanding and support. And if you’d like to consider an additional donation to the Belcourt, we’d be most grateful. You can do so here.

Note: BALLOON is watchable on your computer, phone or tablet, or a bigger screen with Chromecast or a Smart TV. (For more details on watching on a bigger screen, see our FAQs here.)

East Germany 1978. The Strelzyk and Wetzel families have never experienced West German freedom, but yearn for it as they struggle to thrive under the stifling limitations and infamous scrutiny of the German Democratic Republic. When their ability to feign total allegiance to communism collapses, two best friends—engineer Peter Strelzyk and amateur physicist Günter Wetzel—begin formulating a near-suicidal plan to lift their wives and four young sons out of the heavily fortified Eastern bloc by hot air balloon. When the escape attempt misfires, it’s only a matter of time before they’re identified—and the families must rapidly construct a plan to save themselves from certain death.

Released last November to commemorate the 30th anniversary of German reunification, BALLOON brings to life the uplifting and remarkable true story of one of the Cold War’s most renowned, and near-mythical, escape stories.

“Expertly crafted, with palpable nail-biting tension...a heart-on-the-sleeve, old-fashioned action-adventure thriller.” —Alex Saveliev, Film Threat

“In this entertainingly tense thriller, Hebrig finds extraordinary courage and understandable fear in both the Strelzyk and Wetzels…. This story of the indefatigable human spirit will have you cheering.” —Richard Whittaker, Austin Chronicle 

“Filmmaker [Michael] Herbig and his team prove to be especially adept at contriving situations where anything anyone does causes fear, anxiety, stress and worry, leaving everyone, very much including the audience, existing on the knife's edge of unremitting tension.” —Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times


The Belcourt Theatre does not provide advisories about subject matter or potential triggering content, as sensitivities vary from person to person.

Beyond the synopses, trailers and review links on our website, other sources of information about content and age-appropriateness for specific films can be found on Common Sense MediaIMDb and as well as through general internet searches.

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