Friday, August 12, 2016

Olympia 1. Teil - Fest der Völker (1938)

So the Olympics are going on right now, and I'm not watching them but I am reading a bit about what happens.  I don't think Brazil should have gotten the Olympics, they have a lot of problems there.  So I thought I would do the next best thing and watch a documentary about the Olympics.

However, the movie was made by Nazis.  I don't want to watch the Olympics in Brazil, but I don't want to watch a Nazi documentary.  So we may as well talk about a documentary about the Olympics made by Nazis.  Now no one is happy.  But, it's one of those films on the list we just have to get through.  And we will do our best.

Today's film is Olympia part 1. Teil - Fest der Völker.  The first five minutes is nothing but smoke and statues of Greeks, showing the perfection of the naked body.  Then, it finally transforms into living people.  They're men who are for the most part naked participating in the ancient games.  You can really tell a woman wrote and directed this because opening with this many men is pretty excellent.  There are mostly naked women present in the film as well, but I'm not really paying attention to that.

Then, we see the running of the Olympic torch, something we have seen a lot throughout the years.  The running of the torch was actually invented for the 1936 Olympics in Berlin and still continues to this day.  Next comes the Opening Ceremony, where each country marches in with their flag.  Some nations raise the arms in a Nazi Salute in support of Germany, and some do not.

The majority of the film is pretty dry, very similar to watching the Olympics on tv today.  However in 1936 they didn't have tv so watching this must have been pretty exciting for them.  The announcers provided excellent commentary, unlike the NBC announcers we have here.  They are just awful.  We do get to see a lot of action from Jesse Owens, the fastest man in the world at the time.

If you'd like to see how the Olympics were performed a long time ago, this film would be ideal for you.  I enjoyed the historical aspects of it and will give this film a 7/10.  

1 comment:

  1. What I like about the Olympia movie is that Rieffenstahl took the Nazi money to make the movie, included a bit of footage of Hitler and then completely defied Nazi propaganda and focused on the sport. Again and again we see foreign people and especially Jesse Owens beat the crap out of the master race. That must have hurt in Germany and it makes me chuckle.
    Did you see the new movie about Jesse Owens? It makes a good double feature with the Olympia movie.