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photo © Lichtblick Media

The GDR may have been a small country, but it was a highly successful sporting nation. Director Sandra Kaudelka was herself one of its top athletes and at an early age became part of the GDR’s intensive sports program. Although wholly uninterested in sports, she was, much to her chagrin, discovered to be a talented diver. Her memories of the hated, brutal training sessions she underwent on a daily basis still haunt her to this day. In this film she sets off in search of her athletic colleagues – all proverbial “great sporting heroes” – and meets four people with very different biographies: Brita Baldus, three-time European diving champion; Ines Geipel, who holds a world record in the relay; Olympic champion shot putter Udo Beyer; and Marita Koch, world record holder in the 400-meter-sprint.

The film’s nuanced juxtaposition of biographies and points of view provides detailed personal insights into both the GDR’s “sports miracle” and German history – before and after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Genre Sports
Category Documentary
Year of Production 2013
Director Sandra Kaudelka
Screenplay Sandra Kaudelka
Cinematography Jenny Lou Ziegel, Hendrik Reichel
Cast Brita Baldus, Ines Geipel, Marita Koch, Udo Beyer
Producer Martin Heisler
Production Company Flare Film, in co-production with Deutsche Film- und Fernsehakademie Berlin (DFFB), ZDF Das kleine Fernsehspiel
Runtime 93 min
Format DCP, Blu-ray, HD, color, 1:1.85
Subtitled Version English
Festivals Berlinale 2013, Sehsüchte Potsdam 2013, Filmkunstfest MV 2013, DOK.Fest Munich 2013, Artdoc Moscow 2013
With backing from Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg

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