Any large event is going to garner controversy in some way or another. And why not? There will always be somebody to get upset at something, whether warranted or not. The Olympics are no exception, and there has already been a bit of furor over some aspects of this year’s Summer Games in London – the free speech of athletes appears to be limited by the social media guidelines set forth by the International Olympics Committee; also, many human rights groups are highly upset that one of the official sponsors of the Summer Games is Dow Chemical (which is infamous for a gas leak in Bhopal, India which took place in 1984 and for which they have steadfastly refused to make any sort of compensation).
But none of this has any actual bearing on the Games themselves. Let’s go back to 1936, when the Summer Olympics were held in Berlin. The Nazis were in power, and so things were understandably tense – America threatened to boycott the games if Jewish athletes were barred from competition.
This is the setting of the film “Berlin 36,” which will have a special one-time screening at Village 8 Theater this Sunday, April 15, at 4:00. The film tells the true story of German athlete Gretel Bergmann – who was also Jewish. Her sport of choice was the high jump, a task at which she excelled, winning championships and tying national records. She was set to participate in the Berlin Olympics, but two weeks before the Games she was replaced by Dora Ratjen – who, it turned out, was actually a man who had been raised as a girl.
“Berlin 36” is being presented by the Jewish Community of Louisville, who also screened the film at this year’s Jewish Film Festival. Tickets can be obtained by calling 459-0660.
Village 8 Theater is located at 4014 Dutchmans Lane.
Image: Internet Movie Database