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The Wall: A World Divided

Airs Monday, August 8, 2011 at 10 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: This documentary looks deep inside the revolution that swept across Europe two decades ago — with the November 1989 opening of the Berlin Wall — to understand how this remarkable event helped end the Cold War without a shot being fired. Pictured: Berlin, November 10, 1989.

Rudolf Müller inside the tunnel he dug to get his family out of East Germany.
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Above: Rudolf Müller inside the tunnel he dug to get his family out of East Germany.

"The Wall: A World Divided" looks deep inside the revolution that swept across Europe two decades ago — with the November 1989 opening of the Berlin Wall — to understand how this remarkable event helped end the Cold War without a shot being fired.

Vice President George H. W. Bush was the first American to meet the new General Secretary of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev.
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Above: Vice President George H. W. Bush was the first American to meet the new General Secretary of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev.

The film explores the lives of ordinary people caught up in Cold War politics: a young father forced to tunnel beneath the wall to reunite his family; a teenager whose love of pop culture got him in deep trouble with the state; a student activist helping make a peaceful revolution while facing down tanks; and a young man broken by the ruthless interrogation methods of the secret police.

The film also goes behind the scenes with political leaders — George Bush, Mikhail Gorbachev, Helmut Kohl, James Baker and Condoleezza Rice — to reveal the tense moments surrounding the wildly unexpected series of events that resulted in a new Europe in less than a year.

"The Wall: A World Divided" was written and directed by Eric Stange. Watch the film trailer.