Derby Days Berlin (2019) will make you a fan

Copa90 Stories logo

You might expect that as a reviewer of soccer movies, I would be well aware of COPA90, a company that claims to be “The world’s largest independent football media business”, delivering stories on “football like you’ve never seen it before”. I knew the name, but I hadn’t looked at their content until I watched Derby Days Berlin, an episode of their Copa90 Stories youtube channel. 

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Shakhtar Donetsk is ‘The Other Chelsea’ (2010)

The Other Chelsea: A Story from Donetsk (2010)

Although The Other Chelsea is 10 years old, it is a valuable film to watch in the context of today’s impeachment inquiry of Donald Trump. First-time Writer-Director Jakob Preuss lays out the struggling lives of coal miners in Donetsk and compares them to Kolya, a young rising local politician and businessman who drives a Lexus and drinks very old cognac. What ties them together is the success of their football team, FC Shakhtar Donetsk (Шахта́р Донецьк).

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‘Morris from America’ (2016) is not a soccer movie

Morris from America (2016)

Morris from America might come up when you search for “soccer movie”. But even though it takes place in Germany, and is ostensibly about a black American soccer coach, the film is not about football and actually has no football in it except as a visual reference. I’m reviewing the film on my website really, just to let you guys know.

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In ‘Die Mannschaft’ (2014) teamwork is key to victory

Die Mannschaft (2014)
aka The Team

German fans still recovering from the team’s failure to advance at WC 2018 should return to watching Die Mannschaft. It is a nicely crafted love letter to Joachim Löw and the 2014 German National Team. It is a tribute to German football, showing everything the German Federation (DFB) did to optimize the team to win WC 2014. 

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The poverty around WC 2010 is ‘Meanwhile in Mamelodi’ (2011)

Meanwhile in Mamelodi (2011)

During the month the 2010 World Cup is played in South Africa, Director Benjamin Kahlmeyer shows the life that goes on, meanwhile, in the impoverished township of Mamelodi. The township is only 16 miles from Loftus Stadium, but residents’ interaction is mostly limited to buying noisy vuvuzuelas and enjoying Bafana Bafana’s games on small black and white TVs.

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‘Trainer!’ (2013) may stifle your coaching aspiration

Trainer! (2013)

How good is Trainer? It’s so good, you will never want to become a soccer coach in Germany. Director Aljoscha Pause follows 3 coaches in the 2nd and 3rd divisions of the German leagues during the 2012-2013 season. The men are under constant pressure from the media. But they are also constantly pushing themselves to excel and to someday reach the Bundesliga.

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Imaginative combo of parkour + soccer in ‘Teufelskicker’ (2010)

Teufelskickers (2010)

Teufelskicker is a kick of a football film. It is a well-crafted movie based on the eponymous German children’s books by Frauke Nahrgang.

Discovering Coach Dad to be unfaithful, Moritz and his mom move in with Grandpa. In an unfriendly new school, Moritz is bullied by the local club team. He has to find new friends and build his own team, which they name Teufelskicker (Devil’s Kickers).

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From Russian enslavement to ‘The Miracle of Bern’ (2003)

The Miracle of Bern (2003)
Das Wunder von Bern

Das Wunder von Bern is one of the top soccer movie money-makers. It portrays the WC 1954 final, known as the Miracle of Bern, from the standpoint of a struggling mining town post-Hitler. A German POW returns from 11 years in the Soviet Gulag to a young son he didn’t know existed, and to a family that has grown up in his absence. The young boy is a talisman for local striker Helmut Rahn, who is called up to play for Germany but has trouble getting playing time.

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