The Miracle of Bern

Or 'the film that made Chancellor Schröder cry'. A big hit in Germany, this lachrymose, paternalistic saga sees the world through the eyes of 11-year-old Matthias in 1954. His father returns after 11 years in Soviet prison camps, alienates the entire family with his bossy ways, serves up Mat's pet bunnies for dinner, and banishes his football mad son to his room just as West Germany kick off in the semi-final of the World Cup. Needless to say, he relents in time for the big match. Amusing to see how the sport has changed over the past 50 years (another strand follows the team on their progress), but this is very cosy filmmaking - just compare it with Fassbinder's Marriage of Maria Braun, which climaxes with the very same game. The message here is: 'Yes, we have some things to be ashamed of, but look, we paid the price, pulled ourselves together, and we won the World Cup!' Distribution in the UK would seem unlikely.

Release details

Rated: 15
Duration: 118 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Sönke Wortmann
Screenwriter: Sönke Wortmann, Rochus Hahn
Cast: Louis Klamroth
Peter Lohmeyer
Johanna Gastdorf
Mirko Lang
Birthe Wolter
Katharina Wackernagel
Lukas Gregorowicz
Peter Franke
Sascha Göpel
Knut Hartwig
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