Boom! Boom! The World vs. Boris Becker

Anyone walking onto Wimbledon’s centre court cannot avoid passing Rudyard Kipling’s famous lines emblazoned above the entrance: “If you can handle victory and defeat / And treat those two imposters just the same”. Boris Becker made his first triumphant appearance here in 1985 at sweet 17 and went on to become the youngest player ever to be crowned champion. Thirty-four years later, when his financial problems have become a legal case, he returns for Alex Gibney’s documentary portrait to “perhaps the only place I love” and pauses thoughtfully in front of this motto. No one knows better than he just how apt these words are when it comes to his own life. Gibney’s brilliantly structured film is about precision and accuracy, about being in control – or at least mastering the psychological tricks to appear so – about ups and downs and the fine line that separates (self) deception from reality. Becker was interviewed for this film in 2019 and again in 2022, just a few days before his sentencing. Fellow travellers also have their say – from the ironic Ion Tiriac to the witty John McEnroe. A journey of self-discovery about, by and with someone who loves the game.
by Alex Gibney
with Boris Becker, John McEnroe, Ion Tiriac, Novak Djokovic, Barbara Becker, Bjorn Borg, Mats Wilander, Lilian de Carvalho
United Kingdom / USA 2023 German, English 96’ Colour World premiere | Documentary Form


  • Boris Becker
  • John McEnroe
  • Ion Tiriac
  • Novak Djokovic
  • Barbara Becker
  • Bjorn Borg
  • Mats Wilander
  • Lilian de Carvalho


Director Alex Gibney
Screenplay Alex Gibney
Editing Michael J Palmer
Music Peter Nashel, Eric Hachikian
Sound Design Bill Chesley
Producers John Battsek, Alex Gibney, Erin Edeiken, George Chignell
Executive Producer Julian Bird

World sales

Apple TV+

Alex Gibney

Born in New York City, USA in 1953. He has won numerous awards as a documentary filmmaker including an Oscar in 2008 for Taxi to the Dark Side and three Emmys in 2015 for Going Clear. In 2016, his documentary Zero Days premiered in the Berlinale Competition. His production company, Jigsaw Productions, has produced a range of feature films and series including Cooked – Fire, a docuseries which also premiered at the Berlinale.

Filmography (documentaries)

2005 Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room 2008 Taxi to the Dark Side · Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson 2010 Casino Jack and the United States of Money · My Trip to Al-Qaeda · Freakonomics; segment “Pure Corruption” · Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer 2011 The Last Gladiators · Catching Hell · Magic Trip: Ken Kesey’s Search for a Kool Place 2012 Park Avenue: Money, Power, and the American Dream 2013 Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God · We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks · The Armstrong Lie · History of The Eagles 2014 Finding Fela! 2015 Mr. Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown · Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief · Sinatra: All or Nothing At All · Steve Jobs: The Man In The Machine 2016 Zero Days 2017 No Stone Unturned 2019 The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley · Citizen K 2020 Crazy, Not Insane · Totally Under Control 2021 The Forever Prisoner 2023 Boom! Boom! The World vs. Boris Becker

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2023