March 21, 2022 By Michael Dorgan
It was one of the greatest upsets of all time in world soccer.
In 2004, no-hopers Greece defied odds of 300-to-1 to win the European Championships for the first time in its history — and now residents in Astoria can relive the famous victory on the silver screen.
A new movie called King Otto will be screened Sunday at The Museum of the Moving Image, located at 36-01 35th Ave., that showcases Greece’s unprecedented triumph through the lens of its manager Otto Rehhagel.
Rehhagel, a highly-decorated German coach, turned the team of underachievers into the Kings of Europe despite having to use an interpreter to communicate with the team since he couldn’t speak the Greek language.
The screening will take place at 3 p.m. and will feature an in-person Q & A session with Rehhagel, assistant coach Ioannis Topalidis, as well as ex-players Giorgos Karagounis and Antonios Nikopolidis.
“We are thrilled to be showing King Otto which is a very exciting, well-crafted film,” said Jimmy DeMetro, president of the Hellenic Film Society, a non-profit organization that promotes Greek cinema. The organization is collaborating with The Museum of the Moving Image to show the movie.
“Coach Otto and the modern-day underdog Greek heroes in this moving film are almost a page out of Greek mythology.”
Multiple languages are spoken throughout the documentary—such as Greek, English and German—with the film having English subtitles.
It details how Rehhagel steered the team to take down the giants of world football to become the unlikeliest of European Champions. Prior to 2004, Greece had never won a single match in a major tournament but went on to defeat Portugal twice, France and the Czech Republic on their path to glory.
Rehhagel, the movie shows, had won every major domestic tournament as a club manager in Germany before being appointed the manager of Greece in 2001. However, the Greek team had a reputation for lacking motivation and success.
The film details how Rehhagel was able to turn the team’s fortunes around and achieve unthinkable heights.
King Otto is directed by Greek American Christopher André Marks and has a running time of 81 minutes.
Tickets for the movie can be purchased by clicking here.
A trailer of the movie can be seen below.