A new documentary about the life and career of Boris Becker offers a behind-the-scenes look at the Wimbledon champion up until his recent imprisonment on unpaid debts.
The former tennis world number one, 54, has been jailed for two and a half years for hiding £2.5million in assets and loans.
For the past three years, Academy Award-winning filmmakers Alex Gibney and John Battsek have documented the tennis star’s life, including a series of “profoundly intimate interviews.”
Becker was catapulted to stardom after winning his first Wimbledon championship at age 17 and going on to win 49 career titles, including six Grand Slams and an Olympic gold medal.
The film sheds light on his tennis career as well as the challenges of his personal life and financial commitments.
It will also speak to the key figures in Becker’s life, both personally and professionally, including members of his immediate family and stars from the tennis world such as John McEnroe and Bjorn Borg.
The project, which is currently untitled, is set to launch at a film festival with a full release later.
Directing and producing are Gibney, writer and director of the Oscar-winning 2007 documentary Taxi To The Dark Side, and Battsek, co-producer of the Oscar-winning 1999 documentary One Day In September.
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Gibney said: “This film about Boris Becker tells an extraordinary story.
“It’s both a candid insider’s look at the world of professional tennis and a poignant portrait of the man himself.
“Like Rudyard Kipling’s quote at the entrance to Wimbledon’s Center Court, Boris is a person who ‘seems to master triumph and disaster and treats these two impostors equally’.”
Battsek added: “Boris Becker’s story is remarkable. Bursting into the world spotlight at just 17 years old, his unique achievements in tennis both on the court and as the successful coach of world number one Novak Djokovic deserve a cinematic treatment.
“His life outside of court, trying to manage his personal relationships and spiraling financial commitments, has become the stuff of gossip and untruths.
“Boris was incredibly brave in revealing everything to us, Alex and I share a great responsibility in making this film.”
The film is being financed by Lorton Entertainment, which recently delivered a documentary about soccer star Wayne Rooney to Amazon Prime.
Lorton Entertainment Founder and CEO Julian Bird said: “We always knew this film would be at the top of our work list to date, from Supersonic to Maradona, and interest in this project has understandably increased in recent weeks.
“The wheels are in motion to launch Boris Becker’s documentary at a major film festival and then to publish it in full.”
Becker was jailed for hiding assets after filing for bankruptcy in June 2017 and owing creditors nearly £50million with an unpaid loan of more than £3million at his estate in Mallorca, Spain.
He transferred nearly €427,000 (around £390,000) from his business accounts to others including those of his ex-wife Barbara and estranged wife Sharlely “Lilly” Becker.
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/movies/documentary-to-offer-intimate-insight-into-life-of-tennis-star-boris-becker-41632859.html Documentary film with “intimate” insights into the life of tennis star Boris Becker