1989: THE WALL

Synopsis by Garner Simmons

 Recruited by the CIA right out of college, DAVID COOPER had once been a member of the Berlin Cowboys, a highly unconventional intelligence unit that operated in the divided city in the early sixties.  It is now June 1987, and Cooper is a reporter for an international news magazine in Berlin covering American President Ronald Reagan’s speech at the Wall.  As Reagan proclaims: “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this Wall…” Cooper encounters an attractive young German mother named ETTA FROEHLICH and her six year-old daughter, ALICE.  Simultaneously, on the Eastern side of the Wall, a teenage rebel named MICK and his sister, KATI, are moved to action by Reagan’s words as well. Despite their apparent differences, all are bound by unforeseen circumstance and will share a common destiny.

Assigned to investigate rumors of an ongoing covert nuclear arms race, Cooper’s work carries him into East Germany where he uncovers the tissue of lies behind the Cold War standoff between East and West.  At the same time, still haunted by memories from his own past, he will learn the truth behind Etta’s escape from the East – the price of freedom and the terrible secret she bears.

This is a bittersweet tale of love and loss set against the backdrop of events that changed the course of history.  A fictional composite, it follows an American photojournalist as he searches for truth in a world divided by lies.  It is a story of redemption, of coming to terms with a secret past.

The final scene takes place beneath the Brandenburg Gate, Christmas Eve, 1989.  An international orchestra led by Leonard Bernstein transforms Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” into an “Ode to Freedom,” (the actual footage of this remarkable concert still exists).  As the snow drifts down upon the remnants of the Wall, Cooper makes one last attempt to reach out to Etta and her family in an effort to bring closure to their disparate lives.

Intended as a testament to the resilient spirit of the German people, 1989: The Wall is a film that attempts to put a human face on those events.  It is dedicated to all those who risked so much to change the course of history.