As part of the exhibition BERLIN WONDERLAND – Wild Years Revisited 1990- 1996 we are hosting a special event on December 6 at the Pro Arts Gallery. There will be a talk with the author Andreas Vogel presenting his book Mit philatelistischen Grüßen which tells the history of the Cold War in the format of postcards. Afterwards, we are screening the film Balloon that shows the spectacular attempt to escape from the German Democratic Republic.

Andreas Vogel lived in Halle and Berlin during his first 25 years. Then, he traveled around the world and arrived in San Francisco in 1996. In his works he deals with the progression of history and the influence of the internet on society.

Balloon takes place in Thüringen in the Summer of 1979. The Strelzyk and Wetzel families have been working on an audacious plan for more than two years: they want to flee East Germany in a self-made hot-air balloon. But the balloon crash-lands just before the West German border. The Stasi finds traces of the attempted escape and immediately launches an investigation, while the two families are forced to build a new escape balloon under extreme time pressure. The Stasi gets closer and closer each day – a nerve-racking battle against the clock begins…

The event is presented by the Goethe-Institut San Francisco and the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany, San Francisco.