Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Das Wunder von Bern

Over the last months I have been working on finding information on the greatest world cup matches. Looking up the 1954 final between Hungary and West Germany, I came across a German movie from 2003, Das Wunder von Bern, about this legendary match, and managed to get hold of the movie, but as I moved and thought of different things, didn't watch it until last night.
It is a truly wonderful movie, for any football fan, but in particular for Germans. The movie describes well the country that in 1954 was still trying to heal the wounds from WWII, with prisoners returning from Russia and the economy slowly recovering. In all this, an amazing football team, coached by a charismatic Sepp Herberger (whose famous quotes are of course also in the movie), with the legendary Fritz Walter, and a Helmut Rahn who plays an important role for the main character, the boy Matthias, who showing up at the final in Bern, brings luck for Rahn to score the winning goal against the legendary Hungarians.
The movie is told with good humour (I laughed a lot when the journalist's wife, after making a bet with her husband that if Hungary won, he got to choose the name of their children, start cheering wildly for the Germans when they are 2-0 down, since her husband tells her that a girl would be named Roswita....), and the football details are excellent: the new Adidas boots, the rainy "Fritz Walter weather", and the press' criticism of the coach. And in the end, the euphoria at Germany's victory is incredibly contagious (I have watched a tape of the entire final before), as the entire country goes crazy in excitement at the victory.
How can anyone not love football after such a great movie dedicated to football?

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