the trailer for The Spy Who Came In From the Cold
This film came out in 1965. The Berlin Wall had been up for only four years. Clearly they weren't filming at the wall itself, it was actually shot in Dublin, however this film indelibly established the 'look' of the Cold War in the west for a generation: black and white, winter, rain, night, raincoats and absolute despair. The wall was a space: a GDR-controlled zone that 5000 people successfully crossed between 1961 and 1989. Officially, 171 were unsuccessful. This view of the wall was the only one I was ever given, so the function of the segments of the wall that still stand as an instructive memorial to the partition of Germany and Berlin, gaily covered with not very good art, I find completely trivial.
This film, and other films of the 1960s when the Cold War wasn't that cold – it was a state of high tension and fear – these are the best Cold War memorials. John Le Carré's moral dilemmas, his cynicism, his inheritance from Orwell: these are the memorials. In a line from Somerset Maugham, Graham Greene, through Orson Welles, the dark espionage genre of Le Carré, and Len Deighton, and then all the films made from the books: this source material shocks us into the 1960s again.