Synopsis: Playoff tells the story of legendary Israeli basketball coach Ralph Klein. He became a national hero, when he made Maccabi Tel Aviv into European Champions in the late Seventies, one of Israel's first great international sporting successes. But Max became a national traitor equally fast, when he then accepted the against-all-odds job of turning the totally hopeless West-German basketball team - of all people! - into European winners. Max always maintains that Germany - where he was born before the war - means nothing to him, and that training their national team is just another job on his path to NBA glory. But things aren't as simple as he refuses to speak German to the young players. The only person he seems to be able to relate to is a Turkish immigrant woman Deniz, and her cheeky teenage daughter Sema. Max just about falls in love with Deniz - and does succeed in reinventing the Germans as European champions. When he discovers what happened to his own family in the 1940s - it is no
Genre: Drama, Sport
Director(s): Eran Riklis
Production: Egoli Tossell Film
  1 win & 1 nomination.
107 min

"West Germany, Sep. 15, 1982"

Ladies & Gentlemen,

A European Champion...

Max Stoller.

Mr. Stoller, how does it feel to be back

in Germany after so many years?

English, please.

Don't you speak German?

Do you have a problem

with coming back here?

Should I have?

Why would a European Champion

at the peak of his career

choose to coach here, of all places?

I'm sure you had better offers than

to coach the worst team in Europe.

Because of the pastries.

I understand that you have

the best pastries in Europe here.

Why hasn't your family come with you?

I think they've had enough of me.

Now, come on, people. Basketball.

Any questions about basketball?

I've got a feeling that you don't know

that much about it.

So allow me to explain.

On one hand there's a ball

weighing 650 grams

with a circumference of 45 cms.

On the other there's a basket

with a circumference of 78 cms.

And all you've got to do

is put the ball in the basket.

It sounds simple,

but it's not that easy.

"They've had enough of me."

That was great. Very funny.

It would've made me laugh

if it wasn't true.

I'm sorry, I didn't know.

Ah, it's ok...

Where are the players' interviews?

Do you really need them?

Statistics don't win games.

Players do.


We don't have enough geniuses

so we start importing them...

Maybe we should import

some players too.

This is the National team!

Precisely my point!

Loosen your wrist

as you complete the throw.

That's him?

He doesn't speak German?

- Of course not...

Let's see what you've got.

But, sir...

We do not have...

I mean, we cannot...


Shoes off! Jackets off!

- Ah, good morning Doctor.

Jackets off! Lets go!

- Dr. Kosslick, Max Stoller. - Franz.

My name is Max Stoller.

I was born in Frankfurt,

not too far from here.

For many years I coached

Macabbi Tel Aviv,

two-time European Champions.

I'm here to take you on a long,

exciting road

all the way to the 1984 Olympics

in Los Angeles.


I know, I know.

We only have 2.5 months

before the qualifiers

and that our first game is against

one of the best teams in the world.

But if you listen to me,

work with me,

we can do it.

We can do it.

"Shock in Israel after assassination

of Lebanese president"

Most Israelis say

Max Stoller is a traitor!"

You have reached

the Stoller family.

Please leave a message,

and we'll get back to you.

I'm here.

Regards to the girls...

We won the Eurovision with this song.

First time we win!

English, please.

Sorry, I don't speak English.

A bit of peace,

A bit ofjoy

A bit of warmth

I do wish for myself...

Do you know who

came in second? You!

61 points behind us.

A bit of peace,

A bit ofjoy

A bit of warmth

I do wish for myself...

Your style is the technique

and discipline of the team-player.

But I want your talent,

I want your individuality.

I have a simple motto:

There's always a framework,

but there are no rules in it.

That, by the way, is what brought

the European Championship twice

to Macabbi Tel Aviv.

That and a few Americans...

Did you say something?


Tell me, captain, which way is east?


Well, here we're in the west.

Here you can say whatever you want.

Skins and shirts.

Skins and shirts.


- Yes?

They want to do an item on TV news

about you.

Suddenly there's interest

in basketball.

Tell them to come to tomorrow's

training session.

That's not what interests them.

They want the personal aspect

of why you came and all that.

What's interesting about that?

Do you want me to dance naked

in the street and tell them

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David Akerman

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Playoff" STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 24 Sep. 2023. <>.

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