Richard, a coal miner from Essen, returns after eleven years of being a Soviet prisoner of war in Siberia. In the meantime, his wife, two sons and one daughter have reached a minimum standard of living without him. When he is unexpectedly repatriated in 1954, he has severe problems in reintegrating himself with his family and country. His wife is running a small business, his elder son has become a Communist challenging his father’s ideals of the Nazi time, his daughter flirts with his former enemies, British soldiers, and his 11-year-old son Matthias, who never knew his father, admires a local soccer hero instead, Helmut Rahn of Rot-Weiß Essen. While Richard is initially very stern about Matthias’ love for soccer, he gradually softens such that, on the night before the final, father and son drive to Bern to see the match. An additional plot of the movie is the personal triumph of Helmut Rahn, for whom Matthias becomes a lucky mascot. Rahn, nicknamed “The Boss”, has a successful record at club level, though is rarely chosen to play at national level in trainer Sepp Herberger’s team. There are several miraculous events in the movie. For Richard, it is the sudden joy of scoring a goal with an abandoned soccer ball. For Rahn, it is seeing Matthias on the sideline that spurs him into scoring the winning goal. For Sepp Herberger, however, the miracles are more mundane: the sudden rain that slows down the Hungarians (however, German captain Fritz Walter tended to perform better in stormy conditions), but not so much the Germans fitted with Adi Dassler’s revolutionary screw-in football studs. For all Germans, it’s the unexpected euphoria of a win that heals many wounds, becoming a symbol of the ongoing economic “miracle”.—wikipedia
Sönke Wortmann was born August 25, 1959, in Marl. After his graduation from high school, he initially aimed for a career as a professional football player but ended his career after three years despite promising results for the lack of lasting ambition. He then started to study sociology but soon realized that this was not his vocation, either. Thus, he successfully applied at Munich’s Hochschule für Film und Fernsehen (HFF) in 1983/84. At HFF, Wortmann finished several short films, including “Nachtfahrer” (1985) that won a special award at London’s Royal College of Art where Wortmann studied for one year, and the 50-minute long film “Drei D” (1988), an ironic-reflexive film within a film about a film student who shoots his graduation film about a film student who shoots his graduation film, that was nominated for the Student Academy Awards.
After his graduation in 1988, Wortmann kept afloat with occasional jobs, for instance as a cab driver, and was seen as an actor in the TV… read more