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In 1972 the Olympic Games were about to be held in Germany, or rather: West Germany. One aspect the West Germans dreaded most about the forthcoming games was the clear superiority of East Germany in so many sports.
This propagandist satire is a direct reflection of these feelings. The story is set in ancient Greece, with Sparta and Athens as representatives for East and West Germany, respectively. As it is a satire, it is also a comedy, but some of the representation of Spartan (i.e. East German) training and especially youth selection methods go beyond sarcastic mockery and show thinly concealed bitterness and disdain. For example, while East German children (in real life) were screened at a young age to determine in which sport they might excel, Spartan babies (in this film) who didn't measure up to specification were simply abandoned. For balance, West German decadence is also a target for mockery: the top Athenian athlete exercises because his reward is the pampering he receives at the local brothel.
Yes, brothel! Sex is another theme in this film - while the title of the film is a slogan that originated in the 19th century early fitness movement, it leaves ample room for alternative interpretations (it could be translated as "Let us praise what makes us hard!"). On the evidence of the content, one could argue that sex and nudity are merely used as bait to lure an audience into a propaganda film, but this is not entirely fair. Rolf Thiele made quite a few sex comedies in historical settings in those years, and it is rather the political slant of this movie that is a bit of a novelty.
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