For love of footbal

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 14 November, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 14 November, 2004, 12:00am

If you love football, movies and your dad, The Miracle of Bern is the perfect film for you. Directed by Sonke Wortmann, the heart-warming comedy is about a German boy's love for football and his father.

Set in the 1950s, the film opens with a humorous scene in which of a group of children eagerly await the arrival of a pigeon which will deliver a note of the latest football results. Among the children is 11-year-old Matthias (Louis Klamroth), who is a surrogate son to local star player Helmut Rahn (Sascha Gopel).

The days of post-war West Germany are harsh, but Matthias leads a contented life with his family until one day his father Richard (Peter Lohmeyer) returns home after spending 11 years as a prisoner of war in Russia. Richard finds himself incapable of being a father to his family and is jealous of Rahn, who has been selected by the West German team for the 1954 World Cup.

Wortmann pours a vast amount of passion into the football sequences. The scene in which the West German team performs a miracle comeback to claim the World Cup is breathtaking.

The plot is cliche-laden, but its warmth and optimism helps you realise that your father, like football, can be your source of pride and joy.