The Wall by Dominic Carver | Script Revolution

The Wall

1962 - An unruly old man finds a brand new lease of life when he leads a group of misfits to tunnel out of East Berlin to the free world.

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Page Count: 
60pp

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Synopsis/Details: 

East Berlin, 1962 – in the ominous shadow of the Wall that divides the Free West from Eastern Europe, Werner (66) spends the best part of his days and nights drinking vodka and infuriating his neighbours and the police alike. His ability to walk the fine line between imprisonment and drunken anarchy is high, much to the annoyance of JOSEPH (23), his next-door neighbour and ambitious police officer. Each time Joseph thinks he has finally caught Werner red-handed, Werner’s quick wits get him off the hook and save him from a court appearance.

Werner’s best friend DIETER (67), the one person left in the world who cares enough about him to try and stop him drinking, despairs at his antagonism towards MATHIAS (39), whom Werner blames for the death of his daughter years before. But when Dieter is shot by Joseph trying to escape to the West to be with his pregnant daughter, Werner is so distraught he forgets about drinking, too worried that his friend is lying hidden away in a basement somewhere bleeding to death and there’s nothing he can do to help him. Why didn’t his friend tell him he was attempting something so foolhardy?

After failing to find Dieter, Werner resigns himself to never seeing his old friend again... until HERMAN WEPPER (26) knocks on his back door in the dead of night, come to take him to Dieter.

To Werner’s relief, Dieter isn’t dead but badly injured, hiding out with the BECKMAN family, who were also part of the failed escape attempt. Dieter days of freedom are numbered; he must get medical attention, but the minute he appears on any official radar then Joseph and his fellow police officers will swoop to arrest him. Still, he is determined to escape to the West... but he is an old man and wounded. No team would willing to accept someone like him, the risk he may hamper their escape attempt too great.

But Herman knows people who can help.

At night Werner leaves his house to attempt to secure Dieter a place in a tunnel. He is followed by Joseph, determined to catch Werner doing something illegal, but by using his cunning Werner manages to throw him off his trail. He meets with a group of young people led by EMERA (22), who are nearing the completion of their tunnel. Despite their frosty reception, Werner brokers a deal; in return for a bicycle to help them ventilate the tunnel, they will give Dieter a place on the day of their escape.

After stealing Mathias’ bicycle to buy their place, he sets off with Dieter, Herman and Maria to join the escape attempt. But it all falls apart… the police know about the tunnel and raid the house where it is hidden. Pursued by the police, Werner and Dieter eventually make it back to the Beckman’s house and safety, though Dieter’s wound is now much worse.

Werner gives up, declares it impossible and tries to leave the others to it… but his conscience won’t let him. Something awoke in his unconscious and it won’t leave him alone and that something is REDEMPTION. In a fit of angry inspiration, and with time running out, he makes a vow to Dieter, Herman and Maria – he will help them dig their own tunnel to escape!

But digging a tunnel under a stretch of no-mans-land, right underneath the feet of Border Patrols with guard dogs and a heavy stone wall, is not child’s play. Especially as the guards have orders ‘to shoot to kill’. There’s tons of earth to dispose of without anyone noticing, while Stasi spies are everywhere and are only too willing to betray family and friends to save themselves, or for personal gain. Wood needs to be found to support the tunnel’s roof and walls. As do nails, hammers, spades and all the materials that they can’t procure the legal way without drawing attention to themselves.

Werner’s totally insane idea will soon attract a team of oddballs to help them. With Joseph on the prowl and Werner’s old drinking habit resurfacing, which could very well be their undoing, they find themselves in a deadly game of cat and mouse.

But despite the astronomical odds of success and their frequent setbacks, the dream of freedom and being reunited with their loved ones will keep them going till the final metres and the breakthrough to the West, as the police close in.

All Accolades & Coverage: 

Final Ten Stage 32 TV Writing Contest

Submitted: May 14, 2021
Last Updated: July 14, 2021

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Dominic Carver's picture

The Writer: Dominic Carver

PRODUCED CREDITS ECHOES IN THE SILENCE – Screenwriter –a silent short film for Richard Ellison. FLED – Script Editor – a sci-fi short for Stickleback Productions. LEGACY – Script Editor – a drama short for Trebuchet Film Productions Ltd. THE DYING EYE – Script Editor – a feature thriller for writer/director Shiphrah Meditz. THE TRAVELLER – Screenwriter – a ten-minute drama directed by Musaab Ag. Screened as an official selection at The Cannes Short Film Corner 2011 & the Gulf Film Festival 2012. MR. VISTA ( www.mrvista.net ) – Screenwriter – six episodes for second web series, uploaded 2008. AGN – Screenwriter – a four-minute short broadcast on Norwegian TV Station TV Vest in 2008. GAZE... Go to bio
Agent: christina@imaginetalent.co.uk

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