This is the oldest colour film of sport available on the web. It’s the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, and reflects, in amongst all of the Nazi horror, the advanced state of German photography of the time.
Given all that we know of what was to come, the whole scene, which culminates in Jesse Owens’ 100m victory, is recognizable straightaway as modern. At the end of a century of talk about the supposedly positive influence of sport upon politics, here is evidence of the extent of that influence, and it isn’t comforting. This should have been, but wasn’t, the moment when race hatred began to be rolled back.
1 Reply to “Film of the Day #3”
The bad years on Race lasted quite a long time. The (post-slavery) nadir in the USA was probably under President Wilson – he segregated the Federal Civil Service, having earlier been the President of Princeton who would admit no blacks. Things didn’t start getting better at the government level until Eisenhower. The nadir in South Africa was long after the Second World War. Come to think of it, the worst years in S Rhodesia/Zimbabwe may well be now.
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