The title of the movie, directed by Sönke Wortmann, refers to the final match at the 1954 World Cup, which went down in history under the name “Bern miracle.” It is a legendary historical event that became the first stone in the foundation of the new German national identity. Moreover, the film discovers such topics as family relationships, responsibility for one’s duties, the role of sports in the world culture, as well as provides the post-war economic and political background.
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The sporting drama is based on the story with two plotlines: the tale about the former prisoner’s of war family and the way to the victory of the German soccer team of 1954. Mattias, the 11-year-old first main character, suffers from his returned father’s uncompromising attitude because of unhealed scars from the captivity in Siberia. Throughout the movie, the viewers watch the moving rebirth of Richard as a tender and loving father, which determines the family’s harmony. Helmut Rahn is the second protagonist and a player of the German team whose increasing responsibility leads to the decisive goal at the World Cup final against Hungary.
Significantly, The Miracle of Bern has a considerably sound historical background. The father comes back from the Soviet captivity and describes horrors that were faced by millions of German Wehrmacht personnel as prisoners of war. Then, Mattias’ brother leaves the family to go to East Germany, which is a direct depiction of the post-war Germany division by the Western Allies and the Soviet Union (Samuel 212). Notably, the film also depicts culture tendencies of the 50s by the brother’s rock-and-roll music band and the Boogie Woogie dancing of the youth. In the end, the movie gives the viewers a reference to “the German economic miracle” that happened due to the reasonable FRG policy and the Marshall Plan (Hodder 4). Moreover, the final events of the film emphasize the German nation being reborn, which was forced by the triumph after the World Cup of 1954.
In conclusion, The Miracle of Bern turns out to be a moving drama with a relevant historical background. Thus, it reveals cultural rock-and-roll trends, the economic hardships and the miracle of their overcoming, the unifying role of sports, and the importance of tenderness in family relationships. The film allows being a witness of the birth of the new German national identity and its return to the civilized world.
Hodder, Nate R. Wirtschaftswunder: A Study into the Causes and Catalysts of the German Economic Miracle. 2019. Senior Honors Thesis. Liberty University Library, 2019.
Samuel, R. People’s History and Socialist Theory (Routledge Revivals). Routledge, 2016.