When the German national soccer team kicks off, the national anthem plays and the cameras study the faces before kickoff, the players we cheer along with in front of the screens at home today quite naturally have the most diverse biographies. They are united by their pride in playing for Germany and competing against the best in the world. Their heraldic animal is the black eagle they wear on their jerseys. But the eagle, which today suggests unity, also had an exclusionary message for a long time, because the German soccer hero was thought of, dreamed of and revered as white. The feature-length documentary SCHWARZE ADLER lets black players of the German national soccer team tell their personal stories. What road did they travel before they got to where we cheer for them? What hurdles did they have to overcome? What prejudices and hostility did they face - and what was it like in the past, what is it like today? Accompanied by rarely shown archive images, which are sometimes as unexpected as they are disturbing, director Torsten Körner lets various generations of players have their say in his film. From Erwin Kostedde, who in 1974 was the first black player to make his debut in the national team, to Jimmy Hartwig and Steffi Jones, from Gerald Asamoah to Patrick Owomoyela and Cacau to Jean-Manuel Mbom: in SCHWARZE ADLER, black national soccer players describe their experiences on and off the pitch. Whether it's them or their comrades in the Bundesliga like Anthony Baffoe, Otto Addo, Shary Reeves, Guy Acolatse and Jordan Torunarigha, their stories not only tell of what it means to be the target of racist hostility in front of thousands of people in the stadium and millions watching on TV. They also shed light on how spectators, the media and German society deal with the issue of racism - and how slowly, seen from today's perspective, something has changed about this way of dealing in recent decades.
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