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Miracle of Bern, The (Wunder von Bern, Das)

Miracle of Bern, The

Summer, 1954. The Soviet Union is sending its prisoners of war home. Among them is the father of a quiet, football-loving 11-year-old, Matthias, who lives with his mother, sister and brother in a West-German mining town. The boy has long found a surrogate father in the local football player Helmut Rahn, who has "adopted" Matthias as his mascot. The return of the boy's father Richard casts a shadow over the once-happy family: broken by his years in captivity, Richard has trouble adapting to life in post-war Germany and alienates his family through his severity. For Richard, football is pointless, and so is the World Cup that's about to be held in Bern, Switzerland. Matthias, however, longs to be there with his idol, who's been chosen to play on the German team. Through his passion for the game and his fighting spirit, Matthias rekindles a love of life in his dad's heart. And so, as the final match of the World Cup begins, a little miracle of love and generosity leaps across borders to help another miracle occur - the victory of Helmut Rahn and the German team, the miracle of Bern.

With The Miracle of Bern, director and ex-football player Soenke Wortmann has brilliantly succeeded in setting an intensely emotional and touching family drama against the exhilarating, authentic background of West Germany's miraculous World Cup victory in 1954.


Sönke Wortmann ranks among the most respected and most successful directors in Germany. After his graduation movie DREI D (1988) was nominated for a Student Oscar®, his debut feature film MAYBE… MAYBE NOT/THE TURBULENT MAN (1994) became one of the most successful German films in the 1990. The touching post-war drama THE MIRACLE OF BERN (2003) took Audience Awards in Locarno, San Francisco and Ashland and was released in cinemas around the world. The documentary DEUTSCHLAND. EIN SOMMERMÄRCHEN on the Soccer World Cup 2006 is the most successful documentary in German cinemas to date. His other highly-acclaimed films include ALONE AMONG WOMEN (1991), LITTLE SHARKS (1992), MR. BLUESMAN (1993), THE SUPERWIFE (1996), CAMPUS (1998), ST. PAULI NIGHT (1999), THE HOLLYWOOD SIGN (2000), POPE JOAN (2009), THE WEDDING TAPE (2012), WRECKED (2014), MS. MUELLER MUST GO (2014), and HOW ABOUT ADOLF? (2018).
Genre History, Sports, Drama
Category Feature
Year of Production 2003
Director Sönke Wortmann
Screenplay Rochus Hahn, Sönke Wortmann
Cinematography Tom Fährmann
Ueli Christen
Marcel Barsotti
Uli Hanisch
Cast Katharina Wackernagel, Sascha Goepel, Johanna Gastdorf, Peter Lohmeyer, Louis Klamroth, Peter Franke, Lucas Gregorowicz
Producers Sönke Wortmann, Hanno Huth, Tom Spieß
Production Company Little Shark Entertainment/Cologne, in co-production with Senator Film Produktion, SevenPictures Film
Length 118 min
Format color, 35 mm
Original Version
 German
Subtitled Versions English, French, Spanish
Sound Technology Dolby Digital
Festivals Locarno 2003 (Piazza Grande), Montreal 2003 (Out of Competition), Warsaw 2003, The Hamptons 2003, Sevilla 2003, Havana 2003, Goteborg 2003, Berlin 2004 (German Cinema), Shanghai 2004, Denver 2004, Goa 2004, Pyongyang 2006 (Opening Film)
Awards Prix du Public UBS Locarno 2003, German Film Awards 2004 for Best Picture (Silver), German Film of the Year, Actor of the Year
With backing from German Federal Film Board, FilmFernsehFonds Bayern, Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, BKM
German Distributor Senator Film Verleih/Berlin

World Sales
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