Original Title: Comeback
Year: 2007
Duration: 79 min.
Country: Germany

Director: Maximilian Plettau
Writer: Maximilian Plettau
Cast: Jürgen Hartenstein, Markus Kone

Festivals: Hof, Munich, Leipzig, Jihlava, TIDF/Taiwan, Visiond Du Reél, Planet Doc u.a
Awards: German Camera and Seal of Approval ‘highly recommended’

In a bleak attic in Munich, a German boxer is pounding the bags. His name is Jürgen “The Rock” Hartenstein. Once a champion, he is now aging and alone. The boxer eschews women, alcohol and any creature comforts, earning his meager living as a pub bouncer. With no manager standing behind him, he is forced to train in city parks and in a dark, seedy attic with his African trainer, Markus Kone. Every week he phones matchmakers in the U.S., because this former German middleweight champion has a dream: he wants to make a comeback. He needs a win against a US boxer to get back in the game, six years after massive losses forced him to retire. Finally, “The Rock” gets his chance in Philadelphia, where the odds are heavily against him. This is his only chance for a comeback.


  • „As compact and unaffected as its pugilist protagonist…” Variety
  • “It is an exemplary film for this genre between fiction and reality, reportage and feature film.” Süddeutsche Zeitung Online
  • “ With his quiet, purely observational documentation, director Plettau succeeded in the grandiose study of that boxer milieu.” Focus Online
  • A “laconic narration documentary.” (Encyclopedia of International Film)


  • German Camera Award 2008 in the category “Best Camera Documentary / Feature” (additional nomination for editing)
  • Promotional award “OmU” from the company Untertitelwerkstatt Münster at the 23rd International Documentary Film Festival Munich 2008
  • Predicate particularly valuable (Film Evaluation Office, Wiesbaden)


  • Hof International Film Festival, Germany
  • Vision Du Reel, Switzerland
  • Documentary Film Festival Munich, Germany
  • Planet Doc Review, Poland
  • Jihlava Documentary Film Festival, Czech Republic
  • DOK International Documentary Film Festival Leipzig, Germany
  • Taiwan Documentary Film Festival, Taiwan