And Fridays at the Green Hell

Original title: (…und freitags in die Grüne Hölle)
GDR, 1989, 49 min, color
In German; English subtitles

Riots in front of and inside stadiums, massive clashes with opposing fan groups and fights with the police are common sights at East German soccer games. On the trains to the games or on the streets, the public is often frightened by soccer hooligans and their rivalries. For its fans, soccer is much more than just a game; it is a place to let out their frustrations in the last days of the East German state.


Soccer fandom formed a subculture that remained out of the reach and control of political officials in East Germany. For this documentary, the film crew accompanied fans in the 1. FC Union Berlin soccer club to local and away games during the 1987-88 soccer league season. Director Cantzler goes behind the scenes to interview fans and club leaders. They talk about soccer fandom, what motivates fans and how they understand the place of soccer in their lives—and about their critical views on the GDR. 

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