Das Wunder von Bern



Summer 1954. In a small housing estate in Essen, 11-year-old Matthias Lubanski, along with his mother and siblings, anxiously awaits the return of his father, a prisoner of war.
However, football-loving Matthias has long since found a surrogate father in the national-league player Helmut Rahn. The boy also earns a bit of money as his "boss's" bag carrier. Rahn has even convinced Matthias that he can only win as long as the boy attends the games as his mascot. Matthias is only too willing to believe him...
In the meantime, preparations are underway in Switzerland for the encounter of the world's best football teams. As the German team travels to the world championship, in Essen the Lubanskis face a major ordeal. Ever since his return, Richard - Matthias's father - has been sullen and aggressive. When the German team unexpectedly makes it to the finals, Matthias insists on traveling to Bern so that he can bring luck to his idol Rahn. But Richard Lubanski has no sympathy for his son's dreams. On 4 July 1954 everything must be decided...

Director's Statement

There are two events in German post-war history for which people still exactly remember where they were on this day: the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, and Germany's surprising victory at the football World Cup on 4 July 1954, better known as THE MIRACLE OF BERN. This victory on a Sunday afternoon has become a myth, its makers have become legends: Sepp Herberger, Fritz Walter, Helmut Rahn, Toni Turek...
3 : 2 — Germany was the world champion, an entire nation jubilated. But what characterized this historical hour was not simply the joy in the victory of a football team, but a kind of collective bliss, an encouraging corrective to the dark years of the Third Reich.
The small joys and rebellions of the time are mirrored in the story of the Lubanski family of Essen-Katernberg. Counterbalancing the ordeal of the father returning from Soviet captivity are the first signs of the German economic miracle that was about to burst forth.
At first, it was difficult to find an access to this subject, especially concerning how to approach an event that is so deeply anchored in the collective memory of the Germans. But it turned out to be an exciting and very appealing task, precisely because its scope is so much broader than football alone.

Cast & Crew

Directed by: Sönke Wortmann

Written by: Rochus Hahn, Sönke Wortmann

Produced by: Sönke Wortmann, Hanno Huth, Tom Spiess

Cinematography: Tom Fährmann

Editing: Ueli Christen

Production Design: Uli Hanisch

Costume Design: Ursula Welter

Make-Up & Hair: Gerhard Zeiss

Original Score: Marcel Barsotti

Sound Design: Dirk Jacob

Cast: Lucas Gregorowicz (Paul Ackermann ), Katharina Wackernagel (Annette Ackermann ), Peter Lohmeyer (Richard Lubanski), Mirko Lang (Bruno Lubanski ), Louis Klamroth ( Matthias Lubanski ), Birthe Wolter (Ingrid Lubanski ), Johanna Gastdorf (Christa Lubanski ), Peter Franke (Sepp Herberger )

Nominations and Awards

  • European Cinematographer – Prix Carlo Di Palma 2003
  • Feature Film Selection 2003