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THE OLYMPIC SPIRIT

Sedat Aslan
Sedat Aslan

FILMFEST MÜNCHEN and Bayerischer Rundfunk explore the past as they present the documentary film MÜNCHEN ’72.

THE OLYMPIC SPIRIT

1972 — the year had a special ring to it. One that hasn’t faded even after 50 years. Curiously, 1972 was not only the longest year ever in the Gregorian calendar, it was also the year that saw the highest turnout to date in a German federal election: 91 percent.

Heinrich Böll received the Nobel Prize and Charlie Chaplin an honorary Oscar; THE GODFATHER became the biggest-grossing film of all time; color television had its breakthrough in Germany; McDonald’s, “Playboy” and “Star Trek” came to this country; and the young Federal Republic hosted its first global event, the Olympic Games in Munich. According to author Markus Brauckmann, this was “our moon landing”, the dawning of a new era that an entire nation was eagerly anticipating.

Given the memory of the heavily propagandized Berlin Olympics in 1936, the Munich Olympics were widely promoted as “the cheerful Games” with the intention of painting a picture of a new, modern, cosmopolitan Germany. The republic, which had just come of age, meticulously prepared for this. Nothing was to be left to chance; even the weather forecast was to be checked years in advance.

All of the legendary architecture and design (Günter Behnisch, Günther Grzimek, and Otl Aicher are the key names here) was projected outward from the transparent and airy structures of the Olympic Village (which became an international city) to an entire nation. Symbolically, the debris of war had been piled up into an artificial mountain. Beneath it, the spirit of the ’36 Games was buried. Above it, the world’s youth were to meet in the spirit of peaceful competition — until the bloody terrorist attack on the Israeli athletes on September 5 abruptly ended the merriment.

Olympia2

These two sides to the 1972 Olympics, inseparable from one other, will be the focus of an evening of documentary cinema, entitled “München ’72: Eine Stadt zwischen Traum und Trauma”, being held on July 4 by FILMFEST MÜNCHEN in cooperation with Kino am Olympiasee and Bayerischer Rundfunk and moderated by the Filmfest’s artistic director Christoph Gröner and curator Julia Weigl.

The focus is on the atmosphere of the time and a documentary account of the terrorist attack. Historical footage as well as eyewitnesses and interviewees introduced by Andreas Bönte from Bayerischer Rundfunk will convey vivid impressions of a bygone era that has had a lasting effect on our city.

Concluding the evening will be the premiere of OLYMPIA ’72, a new documentary film by Bayerischer Rundfunk and Arte. Using stories and anecdotes, this film describes the Olympic Games as a mirror of their time and as a turning point in the way the still young republic saw itself. It traces the development of the Munich Games and their aftereffects: on the city, its residents, the nation, and Germany’s image abroad. Interwoven in the story line are the circumstances in Germany and the Bavarian capital at the time, and the situation with regard to sports and society. Director Louis Saul will be attending the screening.

Diese beiden, miteinander unzertrennlich verbundenen Pole stehen auch im Zentrum eines dokumentarischen Kino-Abends unter dem Titel: München ‘72: Eine Stadt zwischen Traum und Trauma, der am 4. Juli vom FILMFEST MÜNCHEN in Kooperation mit dem Kino am Olympiasee und dem Bayerischen Rundfunk veranstaltet und seitens des Filmfests vom künstlerischen Leiter Christoph Gröner und Programmerin Julia Weigl moderiert wird.

Dabei geht es um das Lebensgefühl dieser Zeit und eine dokumentarische Abbildung des Olympia-Attentats.  Historisches Filmmaterial sowie Zeitzeugen und Interviewpartner, die vor Ort von Andreas Bönte vom Bayerischen Rundfunk vorgestellt werden, vermitteln ein lebendiges Bild einer vergangenen Ära, die immer noch nachwirkt und dauerhaft Spuren in unserer Stadt hinterlassen hat.

Beschlossen wird der Abend durch die Uraufführung des neuen Dokumentarfilms von BR und ARTE, OLYMPIA ’72. Anhand von Geschichten und Anekdoten erzählt der Film die Olympischen Spiele als Spiegel ihrer Zeit und als Wendepunkt im Selbstbild der noch jungen Republik. Er zeichnet den Weg der Münchner Spiele und ihrer Wirkungen – auf die Stadt, ihre Menschen, die Nation und deren Bild in der Welt. In der Dramaturgie verwoben sind die damalige Situation Deutschlands und der bayerischen Landeshauptstadt, die Lage des Sportes und der Gesellschaft. Regisseur Louis Saul ist anwesend.

The evening of cinema will begin at 9:15 pm, irrespective of weather conditions. Admission, which starts at 7 pm, is free. You can book tickets now on the website of Kino am Olympiasee or get them at the event. The website has information on how to get there.

Additionally, Kino am Olympiasee will host an evening of cinema in cooperation with Filmstadt München e. V. on July 5 and DOK.fest München on July 6. All of these events are part of the Festival of the Games, Sports and the Arts being held by the City of Munich on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Olympic Games in Munich in 1972. Admission to all of them is free.

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