MIRACLE OF BERN, THE: DVD
In the lead up to the 1954 World Cup, young soccer fan Matthias 'Mattie' Lubanski (Louis Kamroth) is the personal mascot for local German player Helmut Rahn (Sacha Göpel). As the German team heads for Bern and the finals, Mattie's father Richard (Peter Lohrmeyer) returns from Russian prison camps, 12 years after he left for the front - shortly before Mattie was born. His return is marred by his traumatized behaviour, which creates much family conflict. But as the German team edge toward the finals, and Richard begins to deal with his new life, the Lubanski family finds equilibrium again, Mattie gets a chance to barrack for Rahn and Germany stands a chance against the ruling champs, Hungary.
Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Well received at home, Miracle of Bern is unusual for a sport film in that it knits together not one but two subplots with the historic document of Germany's unexpected 3-2 win over Hungary at the 1954 World Cup. The soccer is a backdrop - albeit a large and important one - for the two stories: one about a returned POW whose experiences make him a dreary shit of a dad, the other about a young sports reporter and his bride, who has to give up the honeymoon for a stadium seat so her man can advance his career.
The latter is a frilly romantic story that does nothing for the film except add a bit of context, while the main subplot is resolved with a simplistic scene in which the returned father opens up to his family about the ugliness he had to go through. This cathartic scene is all it takes to make him more loving and understanding and lovable.
The simplistic treatment should be forgiven, though, because the screenplay does have the right intentions and the weaving together of these stories is well executed. Performances are excellent, and the film's production design evokes the 50s in Europe without overstatement.
The Lubinski family makes a great showcase for German society at the time, and all the details of their lives are carefully observed.
Published February 16, 2006
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MIRACLE OF BERN, THE: DVD (PG)
Das Wunder von Bern
CAST: Louis Kamroth, Peter Lohmeyer, Johanna Gastdorf, Mirko Lang, Birthe Wolter, Katharina Wackernagel, Lucas Gregorowicz, Peter Franke, Sacha Göpel, Knut Hartwig, Holger Dexner, Simon Verhoeven
PRODUCER: Hanno Huth, Tom Spiess, Sönke Wortmann
DIRECTOR: Sönke Wortmann
SCRIPT: Sönke Wortmann, Rochus Hahn
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Tom Fährmann
EDITOR: Ueli Christen
MUSIC: Marcel Barsotti
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Ursula Welter
RUNNING TIME: 113 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Gil Scrine Films
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: July 28, 2005
SPECIAL FEATURES: Scenes from World Cup 1954; trailer
DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Madman
DVD RELEASE: February 15, 2006
RIVERSIDE SNEAK PEEK PREMIERES
A program of premiere screenings of new movies prior to their commercial release
on 4 consecutive Tuesdays - March 10, 17, 24, 31, 2015 - at Riverside Theatre,
Curated & presented by Andrew L. Urban, discussion to
follow with special guests. Briefing notes provided.