Brick by Brick

Brick by Brick

The Making of the Iron Curtain

It was once the vision of a perfect border - modern, invisible and without victims. High-tech instead of firearms, security fences and concrete. Its inventors called it "Wall 2000". But this vision was never a reality.

With this futuristic scenario, the 90-minute docu-drama by Christoph Weinert and Jürgen Ast begins. The 13th of August 2011 marks the 50th anniversary of the division of Berlin and with it the division of Germany and Europe that was cemented for more than two and a half decades.

The story of the Berlin Wall and the Inner German border is told from a new perspective: From the perspective of those who planned, built and guarded the wall. The film reveals a deep, behind the scenes insight into the "concrete" thinking and plotting calculus of the wall strategists and their secret plans to perfect the deadly border.

The film also tells how people personally experienced the wall, living in its shadow, and how they tried to overcome it: For the first time a former East German border patrolman talks in this context about his feelings and the moment when he shot at the wall. A commander of the border troops reports on strategic considerations and tells of the secret meetings of the border commandos. In contrast, refugees tell how they risked their lives for freedom in dangerous escape attempts.

The partially exclusive interviews in conjunction with the painstakingly accurate scene re-enactments tell the stories of the various protagonists and the events within the command centers of the border regime in an exciting and emotional atmosphere.
Through the use of computer animation, archive material is brought to life in a virtual space, historic rooms are reconstructed and the functioning of the wall and the GDR border security - as involved in the personal stories – is explained.

This film shows unpublished private colour footage and previously unknown documents of the GDR regime: secret files to protect the wall and planning how the wall could be even safer, made even more perfect. The secret case of the wall provides a deep insight into the inner logic of the "wall system" and shows how the frontier worked and what it was - a sad reality and symbol of the Cold War.