The movie Night Crossing captures the feelings experienced by the vast majority of East Germans during the period 1961-89. I lived in West Berlin during most of 1967 and travelled through The Wall into East Berlin on a weekly basis. Why? Excitement, crossing a border into a Soviet governed country, experiencing the smells and the feel of East Germany, which is why Night Crossing is excellent, it captures that very feeling, and it is exciting. I was arrested by the Vopos in Checkpoint Charlie and accosted by a man in his leather coat and dark glasses I am led to believe was Stasi. When I watch the movie I can smell cheap diesel and cooking oil.
I can see the outdated vehicles, the drab clothing the public wore and the lacklustre produce in shop windows. It brings back memories of realising just how lucky I was to live in a free country. In 1988, I toured the DDR from East to West, North to South. East Germany had changed little since 1967. The Trabants, constantly breaking down, were still the main mode of private motorised transport, the shops still featured nothing much to tempt me, uniforms were still commonplace, but the people, the ordinary people were open and nice once you had gained their trust. Watch Night Crossing, it’s as close to the truth as any movie you will see on divided Germany, even closer than two other favourites The Spy Who Came In From The Cold and Funeral In Berlin.