75 min

In development

How I Became a Hijacker

Jak zostałam porywaczką

Directing: Andrew Carter


1978. Gda¬sk, Poland. Ingrid, a 34-year- old East German waitress, is waiting in the seaport with her daughter to escape to freedom and a new life with her boyfriend. The plan is simple: forged papers, and a ferry heading to a Baltic Sea resort town in West Germany. But she realises that someone has betrayed them, and the Stasi are on their tail. Ingrid is cornered, and certain that she is about to be caught and separated from her daughter forever. She comes up with a daring plan to save herself a plan that will put many strangers and loved ones in danger. She will hijack a plane to take her to West Berlin. Miraculously, the hijacking goes as planned, and after a dramatic trial in which Ingrid finds herself at the centre of a political tussle between Cold War superpowers she is set free by the Americans in the West. But her life afterwards looks nothing like she imagined. Her boyfriend is in an East German prison for his part in the escape plan, and her relationship with her family back home is strained after reprisals by the Stasi. The feelings of loneliness, fear and guilt are still alive.
Now aged almost 80, Ingrid longs to find true freedom by healing the emotional scars left by these events, and letting go of the past. So, director Andrew Carter proposes an unusual filmmaking collaboration, immersing Ingrid once again in her past. The documentary takes a “behind the scenes” perspective, as Ingrid and other actual participants of the events, together with professional actors, replay moments from this extraordinary story. By drawing on both the individual and collective memory, and on materials found in the Stasi files, the film explores not only how
the echoes of the hijacking and its consequences live in Ingrid now, but also examines the lasting influence that the all-pervasive communist regime had on individuals and their families.
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