Tunnelkind (1990)

Run Time - 88 min.  |   Countries - Austria  |  
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Not only were there tunnels leading from East Berlin to West Berlin, so that residents of the relatively more repressive East Germany could escape to West Germany, but East Germans also built tunnels under the borders to more "liberal" communist countries like Czechoslovakia. Otherwise, they would quite simply have been shot by the East German border guards, if they even approached the border. In this story, a thirteen-year old girl, Julia (Silvia Lang), who is in deep mourning for the death of her father. She is also attempting to cope with her own feelings about her emerging womanhood, and what seems to her to be her mother's indecently quick aquisition of a new lover. Except for letters she writes to her deceased father, she keeps a vow of silence, which her friends respect. One day, while in an expedition with her friends in the woods near the Czech border, she comes across a tunnel leading to Czechoslovakia and crosses in it, and is found by a friendly surveyor on the other side. She is not yet ready to cross over for good, and extracts various pledges from the man, who quickly becomes a friend.