"Der Tag Wird Kommen" translates into "The Day Will Come," as in the day a professional soccer player comes out in Germany. It is the title of a powerful 7-minute film set to a pulsating song by indie rock musician Marcus Wiebusch that has become something of a sensation in Germany, home to the World Cup champions.
"And the day will come when we all will raise our glasses, float through the ceiling, celebrate the one by raising a toast," the refrain goes. "Of the first one who makes it, the bravest of all, the first one who makes it. This will be the day when we celebrate the love, the liberty and life since everyone loves who he wants."
The film -- which uses English subtitles -- tells the story of a boy who grows up to be a professional soccer player and is also gay. He is afraid to come out ("One will do it but it won't be me," he says) and instead gets a fake girlfriend and compensates by becoming a dirty player. The recurring theme is that the day will come when a gay player can come out and no one will care but that many obstacles still remain. There has never been an openly gay active pro soccer player in Germany.
Rolling Stone in Germany called the film "exceptional" and I found myself captivated by the entire thing. It hits all the themes we associate with gays in male pro team sports -- the fear of being the first; the fear of distractions; the fear of the fans; the hiding in the closet by becoming someone you aren't. The film notes that it wasn't too long ago that black soccer players in Europe were ostracized (and still are in some places) but that in the end we aren't ruled by the "dumbest of the dumb" deciding things.
Directed by Dennis Dirksen, the film was financed by crowd-sourcing. The creators had hoped to raise $38,000 and wound up with $69,000. It was money well spent and this same film could easily be made about professional football, baseball, basketball and hockey in the U.S.
Hat tip to Daniel Lemle, an intern at HRC, who wrote the first English language story on the film I saw.