On 6th February 1958, an air crash at the Munich airport claimed the lives of eight Manchester United footballers, putting the overwhelming rise of a team of young talented players to a tragic end. The squad had been built by Scottish manager Matt Busby, so they were popularly known as the ‘Busby Babes’. They were returning from a victorious European Cup tie against Red Star Belgrade, when their aeroplane crashed in atrocious weather whilst attempting to take off for the third time from Munich-Riem Airport, on the last leg of their journey home. People used to call their boys also ‘The Flowers of Manchester’: they were the best-loved team there has ever been. This sporting and human tragedy was keenly felt all over Britain; it was an event etched in the memory of a generation. Such a dramatic circumstance obviously earned itself a particular place in British popular culture. It has therefore been the subject of many narrations, in the following years, and different media have been used to tell it: starting from the first news taken from the press, the television and the newsreels – and using the testimony of survivors and contemporaries – books have been written, documentaries and films have been realised, even songs have been composed on this matter. Each media exploited its own peculiarities to stress different aspects of this modern-day myth. In this perspective, two examples of the mixed film genre called docudrama (which is usually a fictional and dramatized recreation of factual events in form of a documentary) appear particularly interesting. The aim of this paper is to analyse how the different remediations of this irremediable incident emphasise many cultural aspects linked to it.
Remediating the Irremediable: the Munich Air Crash and its Different Narrations / Enrico Martines. - STAMPA. - (2017), pp. 143-155.