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Berlin '36 -- 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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Lothar Kurzawa (screenplay)
Eric Friedler (idea)
View company contact information for Berlin '36 on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
16 September 2011 (USA) See more »
Nazi Germany 1936. Gretel Bergman is one of Hitler's best gold medal contenders. And she's Jewish.
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. | Add synopsis »
2 wins & 1 nomination See more »
Berlin 36 Movie Review
 (From ShockYa. 28 August 2011, 9:06 AM, PDT)

User Reviews:
A Nutshell Review: Berlin 36 See more (7 total) »


  (in credits order)

Karoline Herfurth ... Gretel Bergmann

Sebastian Urzendowsky ... Marie Ketteler
Axel Prahl ... Hans Waldmann
Robert Gallinowski ... Sigfrid Kulmbach
Thomas Thieme ... Hans von Tschammer und Osten
Johann von Bülow ... Karl Ritter von Halt
August Zirner ... Edwin Bergmann
Maria Happel ... Paula Bergmann

Franz Dinda ... Rudolph Bergmann
Leon Seidel ... Walter Bergmann

Marita Breuer ... Eleonore Ketteler
Rosa van de Loo ... Emma Ketteler

Otto Tausig ... Leo Löwenstein
Elena Uhlig ... Frau Vogel

John Keogh ... Avery Brundage

Julie Engelbrecht ... Elisabeth 'Lilly' Vogt
Klara Manzel ... Thea Walden
Martin Wissner ... Ernst Oberberg
Matthias Redlhammer ... Stadionsprecher

Tomas Spencer ... Nigel (as Tomas Sinclair Spencer)
Adrian Zwicker ... SA-Mann
Angelika Bartsch ... Ärztin im Gesundheitsamt

Harvey Friedman ... Jackson
Katrin Hansmeier
Isabell Brenner
André Lehnert ... Zehnkämpfer
Philip Schwarz ... Zehnkämpfer
Gretel Bergmann ... Herself
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Peter Clös ... Kioskbesitzer (uncredited)

André Dietz ... (uncredited)

Adolf Hitler ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Margaret Lambert ... Herself (uncredited)
Julia Lukas ... Zuschauer im Stadion (uncredited)
Armin Schmitt ... Soldat (uncredited)
Oliver Unkel ... Wehrmachtssoldat (uncredited)

Directed by
Kaspar Heidelbach 
Writing credits
Lothar Kurzawa (screenplay)

Eric Friedler (idea)

Produced by
Doris J. Heinze .... producer
Jörn Klamroth .... producer
Klaus Rettig .... line producer
Tim Rostock .... executive producer
Gerhard Schmidt .... producer
Original Music by
Arno Steffen 
Cinematography by
Achim Poulheim 
Film Editing by
Hedy Altschiller 
Casting by
Anja Dihrberg 
Production Design by
Götz Weidner 
Costume Design by
Lucia Faust 
Makeup Department
Horst Allert .... makeup artist
Nicola Faas .... extras fitting
Delia Mündelein .... makeup artist
Nicole Rohner-Allert .... makeup artist
Production Management
Wolfram Gumbert .... unit manager
Beatrice Hallenbarter .... production manager
Friedegard-Nelly Schunk .... unit manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Moritz Heidelbach .... second assistant director
Lars Parlaska .... first assistant director
Art Department
Peter Ackermann .... assistant production designer
Alexander Dercks .... prop driver
Alexander Dercks .... set dresser
Janine Groth .... assistant property master: indoor
Jo Heins .... set dresser
Josef Jacob .... construction coordinator
Florian Junghans .... construction coordinator
Katrin Kolbe .... assistant property master: outdoor
Maurice M. Mohn .... assistant property master: indoor
Richard Mundt .... prop driver
Arnold Müller .... painter
Tanja Oppel .... set dresser
Manjo Richter .... set constructor
Sebastian Steinhauer-Dsenne .... painter
Nobu Takayama .... property master: indoor
Andreas Wenzel .... property master: outdoor
Alexander Wunderlich .... set dresser
Sound Department
Sylvain Remy .... sound (as Sylvain Rémy)
Visual Effects by
Ronney Afortu .... colorist
Michaela Braun .... Team-Assistenz: ScanlineVFX
Matthias Brauner .... main title designer & animator: ARRI
Christian Burggraf .... Systemadministration: ScanlineVFX
Timm Dapper .... lead Massive technical director: ScanlineVFX
Gabriel Dedic .... 2D supervisor: ScanlineVFX
Thomas Diesselhorst .... titles
Andreas Frickinger .... compositing artist: ScanlineVFX
Dirk Frischmuth .... digital artist
Lena Gieseke .... 3D Artist: ScanlineVFX
Rene Grosser .... 3D Artist: ScanlineVFX
Thomas Hain .... motion capture & Massive simulation: Circle & Lines
Carla Heinzel .... Massive technical director: ScanlineVFX
Sebastian Hirsch .... senior 3D artist: ScanlineVFX
Sebastian Hirsch .... senior shading & texturing artist: ScanlineVFX
Finlay Hogg .... compositing artist: ScanlineVFX
Alexander Hupperich .... senior modelling artist
Oliver Kirchhoff .... 3D Artist: ScanlineVFX
Claudia Knorr .... 3D Artist: ScanlineVFX
Christian Kratzert .... 3D Artist: ScanlineVFX
Markus Kuhlo .... 3D Artist: ScanlineVFX
Dirk Mauche .... modelling lead: ScanlineVFX
Michel Mielke .... VFX Producer: ScanlineVFX
Jan-Hilmar Petersen .... set supervisor: ScanlineVFX
Christian Pokorny .... 3D supervisor: ScanlineVFX
Thorsten Rolle .... 3D Artist: ScanlineVFX
Benjamin Ross .... matte painter: ScanlineVFX
Michael Scheffler .... Systemadministration: ScanlineVFX
Markus 'Maggi' Selchow .... visual effects
Sepp Sonntag .... 3D Artist: ScanlineVFX
Sepp Sonntag .... matte painter: ScanlineVFX
Alexander Stania .... lead modeling td: Circle and Lines
Tim Stern .... Compositing Lead: ScanlineVFX
Duc Minh Tran .... 3D Artist: ScanlineVFX
Hans Vollmer .... motion capture & Massive simulation: Circle & Lines
Mortimer Warlimont .... Compositing Lead: ScanlineVFX
José Manuel Weil .... senior lighting & rendering artist: ScanlineVFX
Florian Werzinski .... 3D Artist: ScanlineVFX
Bjoern Wortmann .... compositing artist: ScanlineVFX
Camera and Electrical Department
Moritz Anton .... assistant camera
Hannes Casper .... lighting technician
Marcel Flienert .... assistant grip
Stefan Hase .... grip
Thomas Korda .... steadicam operator
Thomas Kost .... still photographer
Mirco Lenke .... lighting technician (as Mirko Lenke)
Michael Meusel .... lighting technician
Moritz Müller .... first assistant camera (second unit)
Patrick Peters .... video operator
Torben Schmidt .... assistant lighting technician
Christian Thümmler .... gaffer
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Conny Frei .... wardrobe
Ursula Münstermann .... assistant costume designer
Ramona Petersen .... assistant costume designer
Meiken Reissig .... wardrobe
Editorial Department
Andreas Lipke .... assistant editor
Location Management
Nic Diedrich .... location scout
Stefan Möller .... location scout
Skipper Norden .... location manager
Benno Pastewka .... location scout
Angie Simaifar .... location scout
Transportation Department
Markus Eberhardt .... production driver
Uwe Helbich .... transportation coordinator
Jörg Henning .... production driver
Marc Lehmann .... production driver
Gaby Meyers .... facility/truck driver
Franzo Soli .... prop driver
Other crew
Nina Bärmann .... production trainee
Silke Christina Engler .... continuity
Britta Frantzen .... production assistant
Heike Frielingdsdorf .... production trainee
Margret Höher .... production coordinator
Felix Hüsken .... production trainee
Christian Kohlbach .... traffic blocker
Katharina Lindenau .... production trainee
Sergej Maier .... assistant set manager
Skipper Norden .... set manager
Lilian Scharnhorst .... production trainee
Stefan Arndt .... thanks
Bruno Lambert .... dedicatee
Margaret Lambert .... dedicatee (as Margaret Bergmann-Lambert)

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Germany:100 min | Argentina:100 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

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


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5 out of 9 people found the following review useful.
A Nutshell Review: Berlin 36, 2 August 2010
Author: DICK STEEL from Singapore

With Singapore hosting our first Olympics event, albeit the inaugural Youth Olympic Games, perhaps it is apt for us to reflect upon the importance of the values and spirit promoted by the Games toward the notion of Swifter, Higher, Stronger, because not always were the Games free from influence other than sports excellence and the triumph of human determination and to see how perseverance and training paid off.

Based on a true story and set in 1936 Berlin, where Germany is on the cusp of holding their first Olympic Games in the summer, Berlin 36 tells of how politics managed to get embroiled into sports, no thanks to Adolf Hitler sweeping into power some three years before, and taking the Games as a platform to further his party's propaganda, extending his prejudice and discrimination toward the Jews in not allowing them to compete under the German flag. This of course does not bode well for the United States, and to appease them in order to stave off a potential boycott by the US and her allies, the Germans had to pass off a show to rescind their decision for the Jews exclusion. This means that the world's best high jumper of the time, the German Jew Gretel Bergmann (Karoline Herfurth) had to be "persuaded" to return to the Fatherland for representation and competition.

This drama directed by Kasper Heidelbach not only tackles the issue of the kind of extreme discrimination and belief in the superiority of the Aryan race, but poses a more thought- provoking examination at the macro level issues as faced by Gretel in tackling and addressing prejudices from all angles, being the lone athlete in a training village, treated like an outcast by fellow citizens. She finds it near impossible to show love and pride in being able to represent her country that doesn't love her back, what more to earn honours for it? Like any authoritarian regime, they function on the basis of threats not only to self but family, and is able to shape outcomes as desired through silence, and misdirection.

And the worst was of course in hand-picking Marie Ketteler (Sebastian Urzendowsky) to become Gretel's chief rival both in training and the eventual competition, not that there was any intent anyway to allow Gretel to make it all the way to the Olympics proper. Marie is seemingly able to challenge Gretel one on one, which is quite expected should you read the synopsis or know the background of Marie's deep, dark secret. Like Gretel, Marie was also forced to be in the limelight to do as told, and deviations to the established plan was going to be frowned upon severely. What once began as a cold rivalry soon paves the way toward firm friendship, as both Gretel and Marie find themselves under the same circumstances of being played as puppets, and both harbour hopes of somehow being able to break away from the bonds that shackle them.

It is precisely the chemistry between the cast, especially the leads, that pull this film off, in providing an engaging and engrossing premise for their cooperation/competition. Production values for this historical story is kept high, and also provided room to boast some fantastically designed sets and effects used to recreate 1930s Germany, as well as the impressively recreated Stadium used for the Games featuring huge Zeppelins flying overhead. These money shots at the finale will put you smack in the middle of the propaganda festivities where important decisions will be made by the leading two athletes, and one can imagine just how the actual mood and feel would be like on the streets and at the venue.

I have a penchant for films about sports from the yesteryears, because when documented and portrayed accurately, allow the modern audience a glimpse into how the sport of today have evolved from time past. The high jump here is slightly different from the techniques and styles employed now, so that should pique your interest enough as one of the points to watch this film. There may be some quarters grumbling about how much the YOG budget is costing us, but let's not mix politics with this platform for our youths to have a go and competing with their peers representing the best from countries around the world.

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