With another Euro Cup around the corner, I took a look at some of the great storylines surrounding the favourite ball game in Europe!
Der ganz große Traum (Lessons of a Dream, 2011)
In the 19th century, schools are strict in Germany and German pupils don’t have much to laugh about…. This all changes when a young English teacher (Daniel Brühl) takes a football to school and teaches his boys all about the game that is already a big thing in nearby England.
Told with a lot of subtle humour, the film is based on the true story of teacher Konrad Koch, who introduced European football (or soccer as the Americans would say) to Germany in 1874.
Das Wunder von Bern (The Miracle of Bern, 2003)
In 1954, when a divided Germany was still struggling with the traumas of WW2, West Germany received a much needed confidence boost by winning the Football World Cup final in Bern, Switzerland – despite being the underdog of the tournament and Hungary being the favourites!
On a personal level, 11-year-old protagonist Matthias (Louis Klamroth) finds it difficult to connect with his estranged father when he returns from a Soviet prisoner of war camp as one of the so-called “late homecomers”. What makes matters worse is that the boy now regards footballer Helmut Rahn, one of the heroes of Bern, as his father figure and role model…
In 2014, Das Wunder von Bern has also been made into a colourful musical, which you can see on stage in Hamburg.
Bend it Like Beckham (2002)
In 2002, a young Keira Knightly (Jules) and and equally brilliant Parminder Nagra (Jess) are trying hard to become as brilliant at football as their idol David Beckham – one of the biggest football stars at the start of the new millennium.
At the same time, the story conveyed a lot about Great Britain’s multicultural society. It’s quite striking that actually both Jess’ traditional Indian parents as well as Jules’ white English mum don’t think that football is something girls should be doing at all.
Up until today, professional women’s football is still a whole different ball game than the men’s. The German national women’s football team, for example, won the women’s World Cup two times and the Euro Cup an astonishing 8 times (most recently in 2013), yet not a lot of people would have heard about… Thus, Bend it like Beckham really is a classic – both in terms of showcasing the benefits of multicultural Britain as well as Jess’ and Jules’ football achievements!
Brothers Grimsby (2016)
In 2016, British comedian Sasha Baron Cohen made yet another controversial flick. I am not the biggest fan of his provocative sense of humour. Borat literally was the worst film I have ever seen! But since the trailer looked kind of funny I decided to give Brothers Grimsby a go.
The story is about two brothers who were separated as children. Later on, Sebastian (Mark Strong) becomes a top-of-his class Secret Agent while Nobby (Sacha Baron Cohen) is a working class hero in the North English town of Grimsby as well as a hardcore fan of the national English football team!
After Nobby has tracked down his lost brother, the epic final of the film had to be the CLASSIC football final ENGLAND VS. GERMANY! In an imagined world cup of 2016 in Santiago, Chile, Nobby and Sebastian pull out all tricks to make this a totally trashy, disgusting and politically incorrect movie! However, a lot of scenes were also really funny and thus to me this is the best film Sasha Baron Cohen has made so far! 🙂