An analysis of Sönke Wortmann`s 'The Miracle of Bern' (Germany, 2003) based on the prototype of the American Sports Film of the 1980s
The 4th of July 1954 marks a crucial event in German history. With a 3:2 victory over a Hungarian team that had not been beaten for four whole years West Germany had won the F.I.F.A. World Cup for the first time. Helmut Rahns winning goal instantly revived the spirit of an entire country that not even a decade before had experienced huge devastation in the Second World War. A general sentiment that we are somebody again began to overlie the whole population and furthermore helped rebuild a confidence that had been tainted by the twelve years under the Nazi regime. Since the final took place at Wankdorf Stadium in the capital of Switzerland, this triumph went on to be remembered in peoples minds as the Miracle of Bern. Only one year later the West German Wirtschaftswunder (engl: economic miracle) began and even nowadays Germanys Ex-Chancellor Gerhard Schröder counts this success towards the most important post-war events in the countrys history.
In 2003 then, German director Sönke Wortmann, in collaboration with the German Football Association (D.F.B.), was the first to attempt a full reconstruction of this event in the extent of a feature film. His movie, conveniently called The Miracle of Bern, tells the story of eleven-year old Matthias (Mattes) Lubanski (Louis Klamroth) and his by the war emotionally devastated father Richard (Peter Lohmeyer), who are brought together by West Germanys unexpected World Cup victory.
While there had been a certain fear that Wortmann might destroy what had already become a myth in the minds of many Germans, he himself believed that the film was necessary in order to keep the legend alive for a younger generation, who had no direct connection to or never even heard of this renowned event. In the end, Wortmanns film became a huge success in Germany drawing more than three million people to the box office and thus making it one of the most successful films of the year over the whole of Europe. One has to say, however, that some critical voices emerged as well. In his review, Helmke, for example, claims The Miracle of Bern to be the most American German film of all time. He also states that in contrast to other German films about football such as Fußball ist unser Leben and Nordkurve, which primarily intend to depict the milieu and life of the teams supporters, Wortmanns predominant concern is to enhance the sporting triumph of the West German national team into a myth. […]
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- Artikel-Nr.: SW9783836612562
- Artikelnummer SW9783836612562
- Verlag Diplom.de
- Seitenzahl 62
- Veröffentlichung 28.04.2008
- ISBN 9783836612562