A young boy from a working class family in post-war Germany struggles with his estranged father returning from war captivity, while a friend of his plays for the German National Soccer Team at the 1954 FIFA World Cup in Switzerland.
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The movie deals with the championship-winning German soccer team of 1954. Its story is linked with two others: The family of a young boy is split due to the events in World War II, and the father returns from Russia after eleven years. His problems in getting back to normal life are shown, with references to his children and wife. The second story is about a reporter and his wife reporting from the tournament.Written by
A wonderful little film, "Das Wunder von Bern" succeeds to capture the atmosphere of Germany in the mid-Fifties. The film is not so much about the football world championship of 1954 itself, but about how important this victory became for the Germans themselves. A nation torn apart and devastated by war, disoriented and sad, found new strength and something in which to believe in.
I first feared that I wouldn't like the movie so much as I am a Hungarian myself (the nation West Germany beat in the finals of the 1954 world championship in Bern), but in fact I was rather enchanted by the story. The excellent script brings the characters (above all little Mathias) to life. You start to care about them, to like them, to follow their ups and downs with interest. I especially liked the sensitive approach to the problems a family had to face when the father came back after years as a POW. As many other men in a similar situation, Richard Lubanski first wants to show strength and authority by being cold, arrogant and even violent towards his children - but later discovers that he also has to show his weaknesses and talk about his terrible experiences in war in order to get closer to his family again.
The parallel storyline of newlywed journalist Ackermann and his pretty and snobbish wife Anette was not very closely related to the main story, but I still liked it as the film showed through their lifestyle the beginning prosperity of the "Wirtschaftswunder" (economy miracle) years in contrast to the still bleak world of the industrial and mining town the Lubanski family lives in. And they also added some lighthearted comic relief to the film.
I would very much like people from other countries/cultures to see this film and understand better what Germany went through in these years.I am quite sure that they would not have big problems understanding "Das Wunder von Bern", as its main themes (family, war, traumatic experiences, failure and success) are quite universal.
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