6.4/10
619
7 user 26 critic

Berlin '36 (2009)

Trailer
2:02 | Trailer
In the days leading up to the 1936 Olympics, the fate of high jumper Gretel Bergmann hangs in the balance as it is decided whether or not a Jewish athlete can be a part of the German Olympic team.

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(screenplay), (idea)
2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Marie Ketteler
Axel Prahl ...
Robert Gallinowski ...
Sigfrid Kulmbach
Thomas Thieme ...
Johann von Bülow ...
Karl Ritter von Halt
August Zirner ...
Edwin Bergmann
Maria Happel ...
Paula Bergmann
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Rudolph Bergmann
Leon Seidel ...
Walter Bergmann
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Eleonore Ketteler
Rosa van de Loo ...
Emma Ketteler
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Leo Löwenstein
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Frau Vogel
...
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Storyline

In the days leading up to the 1936 Olympics, the fate of high jumper Gretel Bergmann hangs in the balance as it is decided whether or not a Jewish athlete can be a part of the German Olympic team.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Nazi Germany 1936. Gretel Bergman is one of Hitler's best gold medal contenders. And she's Jewish.

Genres:

Drama

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Release Date:

16 September 2011 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Berlin 36  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Goofs

The steam engine 52 6106 was not built before 1943, class 50/52 locomotives were built starting 1939. See more »

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User Reviews

 
An extraordinary tale
3 June 2015 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

If this had not been based on true events it would be hard to pass this off as a feasible storyline. But, in the freak show that was Nazi Germany, anything is (and was) tragically possible.

One should not forget that this was just a sporting event - and the voracity of 'The Games' has always been in question - then and since. But the effect, on all the characters of this film, of the manipulation and corruption of the event as a political propaganda exercise was startling.

The mood and locations of Berlin 36 were impressive, as were the cinematic effects. The cast were excellent, Herfurth gritty and determined, and a particularly difficult role for the actor playing Marie.

One could argue that the male pretending to be female was stretching credibility and was obviously a fraud, but then I remember a lot of the East German and Soviet 'female' athletes of the 70s looking decidedly masculine...how they passed muster I shall never know. Another example of how nation states can pervert the Olympics.

The atmosphere begins originally light (as you would expect with a gathering of female teenage athletes), but still with the sinister undercurrent of emerging anti-semitism becoming more blatant and personal with plenty of dark clouds gathering on the horizon.

The story tells itself. It portrays other individuals' guilt and culpability but in a not overtly judgemental way. The facts are laid out and the conclusions inescapable. Good storytelling, well directed and entertaining.

I would recommend this film not just as a welcome reminder, should one be needed, of what a supposedly civilised nation is capable of but also as a fascinating account of what effect moral bankruptcy can have throughout the whole of society and on the individuals concerned for the remainder of their lives (should they be lucky enough to survive, of course).


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