The GDR may have been a small country, but it was a highly successful sporting nation. Director Sandra Kaudelka was herself one of its top athletes and at an early age became part of the GDR’s intensive sports programme. Although wholly uninterested in sports, she was, much to her chagrin, discovered to be a talented diver. Her memories of the hated, brutal training sessions she underwent on a daily basis still haunt her to this day. In this film she sets off in search of her athletic colleagues – all proverbial ‘great sporting heroes’ – and meets four people with very different biographies: Brita Baldus, three time European diving champion; Ines Geipel, who holds a world record in the relay; Olympic champion shot putter Udo Beyer; and Marita Koch, world record holder in the 400-metre sprint. The film’s nuanced juxtaposition of biographies and points of view provides detailed personal insights into both the GDR’s ‘sports miracle’ and German history – before and after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
by Sandra Kaudelka
dffb Deutsche Film- und Fernsehakademie Berlin GmbH