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Berlin ‘36

Directed by Kaspar Heidelbach

Germany | 100 minutes | 2009

German with English subtitles

Inspired by the true story of Jewish athlete Gretel Bergmann, this is a remarkable piece of forgotten Olympic history. Bergmann (award-winning actress Karoline Herfurth) was considered a top contender for the gold medal in the women’s high jump at the 1936 Summer Games in Nazi-controlled Berlin. With the Americans threatening an Olympic boycott if Jewish athletes were barred from competing Bergman, who had already left Germany to establish her career in the UK, was forced by the Nazis to return to Germany to attend the Olympic training camp. Since the Nazis could not risk the possibility of a Jewish athlete on the Aryan team winning an Olympic medal they conspire to replace her in the team with an unknown über-athlete Marie Ketteler. Years later it is revealed that Marie is, in fact, a man. Berlin ‘36 is the exploration of a tenuous friendship between two outsiders who find themselves in unimaginable circumstances.
Director Kaspar Heidelbach
Countries of Production Germany
Year of Presentation 2009
Language(s) German with English subtitles
Premiere Status
Runtime 100 minutes
Principal Cast Karoline Herfurth, Sebastian Urzendowsky, Axel Prahl
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