As shown on Der Augenzeuge (The Eyewitness) on East German television, Jürgen Sparwasser of 1. FC Magdeburg tallies in the 77th minute on 22 Jun 1974 as East beats West in their only official international. Writes Nobel Prize–winner Günter Grass of the goal in the World Cup group stage: Sparwasser “trapped it with his head, brought it to his feet, raced in front of the tenacious Vogts and, leaving even Höttges behind, rammed it past Maier into the net.” (1:41)
The list of films accompanies a story on the 2009 11mm Fußballfilmfestival in Berlin, which focuses on cinema and football in the former East Germany. The festival also includes a selection of 11 shorts, “Shortkicks.” Go to main article »
Films about or from former GDR
- Das Eigentor (The Own Goal) (GDR 1985, dir. Hans Knötzsch) | Comedy about an East German official looking to move up the football hierarchy.
- Fußballbrüder (Football Brothers) (Germany 2008, dir. Jörg Steinberg) | Flouting conventional desires to join bigger and more successful clubs, 10 pairs of brothers—believed to be unprecedented in world football—played for the humble East Berlin side Mechanisierung Köpenick. This documentary traces their stories.
- Das Fußballwunder von Uerdingen (The Football Miracle from Uerdingen) (Germany 2007, dir. Bernhard Dreiner) | Documentary about 1986 European Cup quarterfinal, second leg, between Bayer Uerdingen and Dynamo Dresden. Down 1–5 on aggregate starting the second half, Uerdingen explodes for six goals in 29 minutes to win the tie 7–5.
- Der kleine General—Dynamo Dresdens Meisterjahre unter Walter Fritzsch, 1969–1978 (The Small General—Dynamo Dresden’s Championship Years under Walter Fritzsch, 1969–1978) (Germany 2008, dir. Uwe Karte) | Dresden won the Oberliga title five times with Fritzsch in charge, despite the manager’s authoritarian ways.
- Mitteldeutsche Fußballlegenden—Lebensläufe: Die Brüder Roland und Peter Ducke (Middle German Football Legends—Curriculum Vitæ: The Brothers Roland and Peter Ducke) (Germany 2004, dir. Ernst-Michael Brandt) | With SC Motor Jena, what would become FC Carl Zeiss Jena, the Ducke brothers were the flagship players of East German football in the 1960s and ’70s. Pelé called Peter Ducke one of the world’s 10 best strikers.
- Der Mittelstürmer verweigert das Paradies (The Center Forward Denied Paradise) (GDR 1987, dir. Peter Weckwerth) | A prized goal-scorer enters a millionaire’s human menagerie. Manchester City, anyone?
- Der nackte Mann auf dem Sportplatz (The Naked Man on the Sporting Field) (GDR 1973, dir. Konrad Wolf) | A commission for a new sport park poses creative dilemmas for a sculptor, Kemmel, portrayed by renowned East German actor Kurt Böwe. The muscular figure, cast in the altogether, does not seem to fit the boxy aesthetic of socialism.
- Der neue Fimmel (The New Fimmel) (GDR 1960, dir. Walter Beck) | Children’s film about the love of football in the provinces.
- Nicht schummeln, Liebling (Don’t Cheat, My Love) (GDR 1973, dir. Joachim Hasler) | Formulaic socialist musical about a small-town mayor who helps found a women’s football team and issues them lace-up unitards.
- Tod dem Verräter (Death to the Traitor) (Germany 2000, dir. Heribert Schwan) | Schwan pored through Stasi files to uncover the security police’s involvement in the surveillance and eventual death of Lutz Eigendorf, who defected to the West after a career with Stasi-backed BFC Dynamo.
- Und Freitags in die “Grüne Hölle” (And Fridays in the “Green Hell”) (GDR 1989, dir. Ernst Cantzler), shown with 20 Jahre nach der Hölle (Twenty Years in Hell) (Germany 2007, dir. Matti Michalke and Guido Wulff) | With roots in the East German federation of trade unions, 1. FC Union Berlin cultivated a fierce rivalry with Stasi-backed Dynamo. The original documentary about the club and supporters could only be shown in cinemas after General Secretary Erich Honecker‘s resignation in Oct 1989. In 20 Jahre the directors revisit Union supporters, who still bond over the club anthem, “Eisern Union,” popularized by German punker Nina Hagen.
- Verzeihung, sehen Sie Fußball? (Excuse Me, Are You Watching the Football?) (GDR 1983, dir. Gunther Scholz) | A slice of everyday living in East Berlin. Residents in five tenement flats prepare to watch the 1982 World Cup final, Italy v. West Germany.
- “You’ll Never Walk Alone” (Germany 2005, dir. Walter Krieg) | Documentary about Reinhard “Mecki” Lauck, capped 233 times for the GDR—including appearances in the 1974 World Cup and 1976 Olympic gold medal–winning side—but who died of alcohol poisoning in 1997.
- 1958—O ano em que o mundo descobriu o Brasil (1958—The Year That the World Discovered Brazil) (Brazil 2008, dir. José Carlos Asbeg) | Documentary about the 1958 World Cup winners. | trailer
- Af Banen! (We Are the Champions!) (Denmark 2005, dir. Martin Hagbje) | A father and former professional player tries to win back his son’s respect by coaching the boy’s football team. | trailer
- Africa 11 (Austria 2008, dir. Stefan Lukacs and Tobias Müller) | Documentary on the New African Football Academy in Vienna.
- Die besten Frauen der Welt (The Best Women in the World) (Germany 2007, dir. Britta Becker) | See 7 Jan 08. Won the audience award for best film at the 2008 11mm festival. | trailer
- Cass (England 2008, dir. Jon S. Baird) | Biopic based on Cass Pennant, notorious hooligan cum author. Actually, he calls himself a “hooliologist.” | trailer
- Corrupção (Corruption) (Portugal 2007, dir. João Botelho) | Drama dissecting a corruption scandal at FC Porto.
- Danish Dynamite (Denmark 2008, dir. Mads Kamp Thulstrup and Carsten Søsted) | “We are red, we are white, we are Danish dynamite!” So went the chant during the glory years of Danish football under German coach Sepp Piontek, leading to an unexpected European championship in 1992. According to the Danish Film Institute, the film “paints a portrait of a small nation, Denmark, that never, at least not until Piontek, took sports as seriously as other European nations did.”
- Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal (India 2007, dir. Vivek Agnihotri) | Bollywood production based around the once glorious Bangla-infused Southall United, now relegated to the lower reaches of English football. | trailer
- A Different Pitch (UK and Kosovo, 2000, dir. Doug Aubrey) | Documentary follows Scotty Lee, who uses football to teach young Kosovars about the dangers of land mines. | full movie
Coverage of the Werder Bremen women’s team’s 3–2 victory over Jahn Delmenhorst on 9 Sept 08. (3:49)
- Einsteigerinnen—Ein Jahr für Werder Bremen (Beginning Women—One Year with Werder Bremen) (Germany 2008, dir. Silke Rudolph and Michael Rudolph) | Cameras follow five players on a start-up women’s side at Werder Bremen.
- FIEL (Faithful) (Brazil 2009, dir. Andrea Pasquini) | Supporters’ devotion to Corinthians of São Paulo. | trailer
- Gmar gavi’a (Cup Final) (Israel 1991, dir. Eran Riklis) | A story of friendship between a Palestinian and Israeli fighting on opposite sides in the 1982 Lebanon War.
- I Have a Team to Save (Israel 2008, dir. Haim Shadmi) | Profile of Uri Mashiah, who tries to organize a weekend boycott of Israeli football stadiums in a protest against commercialism.
- Loucos de futebol (Beyond Futebol) (Brazil 2008, dir. Halder Gomes) | Documentary chronicles the passion for futebol in Fortaleza, state capital of Ceará in Brazil’s Northeast.
- Maradona par Kusturica (Spain 2008, dir. Emir Kusturica and Diego Maradona) | Maradona gets a director’s credit in a documentary as much about the film’s creation as its subject. | trailer
- Passione Napoletana (Neapolitan Passions) (Italy 2007, dir. Mario Coppotelli) | Fans of SSC Napoli.
- El penalti más largo del mundo (The Longest Penalty in the World) (Spain 2005, dir. Roberto Santiago) | The film version of the short story by Osvaldo Soriano about one goalkeeper’s weeklong agony waiting to defend a delayed penalty decider. | trailer
- Der perfekte Moment—Ein Film über Mario Kempes (The Perfect Moment—A Film about Mario Kempes) (Austria 2006, dir. Andreas Weber) | Mario Kempes‘s final years as a player in the Austrian second division.
- Substitute (France 2006, dir. Fred Poulet and Vikash Dhorasoo) | Dhorasoo’s 8mm footage of hotels helps make this 2006 World Cup documentary “one of the most unusual films about football ever made,” according to the Independent. | trailer
- Un santo para telmo (A Saint for Telmo) (Brazil 2008, dir. Gabriel Stagnaro) | A Brazilian player is transferred to San Telmo of Buenos Aires. But can he locate the club to save it from relegation?
- Zwischen Wellblech und Weltbühne (Between Corrugated Sheeting and the World Stage) (Germany 2009, dir. Herbert Ostwald) | Documentary on Doreen Nabwire of Kenya’s Mathare Youth Sports Association and her ambition to become a professional footballer.