Born For This: A (powerful) Women’s Football Illustrated Film

In America, Hard Knox, the mother of all documentaries about professional sports teams, celebrated its 20th birthday last year. In “Hard Knox,” various football teams (starting with Baltimore, Dallas in 2021) accompany the film teams. Documentaries have also recently been produced in Germany that take fans behind the scenes of professional sports. They all follow a little in the footsteps of the great cinema film directed by Sonke Wartmann, who accompanied the German national team under coach Jürgen “Klinsey” Klinsmann during the 2006 World Cup at home. Most of them did not achieve this passion, and some of them were just doing better PR because some were requested and carried out directly by the PR departments of the clubs.

So, only a few of them can work with the real press – even “Born For This”, a glossy, detailed documentary about the German women’s national soccer team, produced by Warner Bros. International for more than a year, which is first and foremost nearly four hours of advertising for the German Football Association and the women’s sport itself. This is unfortunate in some places, but sometimes it manages to convince. That is, when the documentary series deals with topics specific to women’s sports. Initially, for example, when it comes to how difficult it is for bodyguard Almuth Schulte to return to a level of performance after pregnancy, to regain its usual position and the role that hormones play in competing athletes. In the course of the additional documentary, topics such as sexism or egalitarianism were also touched upon; For example, sporting director Oliver Bierhoff was allowed to unconsciously stress the importance and future prospects of the women’s team during a meeting in Episode Three.

The cameras are not involved in negotiations about the rewards that could jump to players in the European Championship if they succeed. This is unfortunate, especially since it is not a given that such images were not included in “Born For This”, but of course more than understandable from a DFB point of view. Thus, the documentary, whose editorial focuses on aesthetics, athleticism, fighting spirit, strength and will, and in some places may be a bit reminiscent of “The Bachelorette,” also comes from Warner Bros., and sometimes follows all the very familiar paths. Also in “Born for this,” viewers can listen to team meetings again. Hear how players are being praised this time around – or (arguably true or not) sometimes made an idiot for lack of passion.


© NDR / Warner Bros. IPTV Germany
The “Born for this” editorial combines sport, beauty, and strength – and it might remind you of sequences from “The Bachelorette.”

What works well is the basic storytelling of a national team in Germany whose players are far from well known like Manuel Neuer, Hansi Flick or Joshua Kimmich. Anyone who has watched the three episodes can get a better picture of high-performing athletes such as Merle Froms, goalkeeper, defender Sarah Dorsson, national coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg, assistant coach Patrick Gerlimond and other participants.

The labor-intensive “Born for This” has nothing to do with sports (critical) journalism, but it is no different from the big, sometimes international models. Warner Bros. confirms. – after Nitro’s Eintracht documentary “Countdown to Europe” – on the ability to tell good stories in behind-the-scenes sports documentaries in “Born for this”. ‘Born For This’ you should not be shy about comparing with other documentaries recently launched on the market – be it record-breaking FC Bayern, Cologne or Dortmund, or smaller Sky documentaries (for example about football teams). Hand). After all, other formats also provide space for critical sports journalism on ARD alone.

“I was born for this,” on July 12th at 11:15pm on the first. All episodes are available in the ARD media library, as well as on Magenta TV and Sky Q.

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