Filmmaker admits he got more than he bargained for in Boris Becker documentary

Boris Becker

Documentarian Alex Gibney has opened up on the experience of making a film about Boris Becker.

Gibney is the man behind the documentary Boom! Boom! The World vs Boris Becker.

His new film drops 7 April on AppleTV+ and he admits that he got much more than he bargained for with this film.

Gibney started the process after the beginning of Boris Becker’s financial and legal troubles but was unaware of exactly what would unfold.

In an interview with Sports Illustrated, Gibney revealed why he chose Becker as the subject for his film.

“One of the things that makes the Boris film worth doing: He is kind of a larger-than-life character and he is a good storyteller,” he said.

“Other athletes at the top of their game were not necessarily that interesting as storytellers.”

Gibney happened to be around to capture much of what went down during the trial with Becker granting him full access.

“I didn’t know exactly what I was getting going in,” Gibney said.

“I figured I was getting a good storyteller and a great player. So that’s why I thought it would make for a really interesting doc.

“The doc got more interesting as it went along because—sadly for Boris—of his growing financial and then criminal problems.

“I knew that, by the time I had started, of course, the Nobu incident was well known and some of the more scandalous episodes and … problems with finances hanging over him.

“But nothing that became as overwhelming and oppressive as what ultimately turned out when he finally went on trial.”

Becker did not have editorial power over this documentary and Gibney admits they have had disagreements about its contents.

“He had right of review,” Gibney explains.

“That is to say, we would show him something and then he would be free to comment. But he didn’t have editorial control. That was explicitly stated in the deal. And that’s not the way it’s done these days, right?

“But I think that the film turned out all the better for it. He and I had some disagreements. There were some issues where he gave comment, and I looked into it. We still disagree about some parts of the film. And that’s O.K. He’s free to say he disagrees.

“I think that Boris would feel I portrayed his business affairs in too dire a light. I don’t agree. But that’s what Boris would feel. There were a few times in the film where, you know, we all tell stories that either we misremember because we like stories where we are the heroes, but they’re not necessarily true. I think that goes beyond Boris. But, generally speaking, he likes the film.”

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