Thursday, April 5, 2018

The inevitable entanglement of sport and politics

I enjoyed watching the movie Race, which recounts the story of Jesse Owens and his presence at the 1936 Berlin Olympics.

The movie does a nice job of recounting significant historical events while exploring issues of racism, anti-Semitism, hypocrisy, propaganda, and the tortured relationship between politics and sport.

Like good historical movies it had the desired effect of causing my family to race to Wikipedia to see how much of the movie was historically accurate. It seems almost all of it is. Perhaps the main debatable point was it gave a sympathetic portrayal of the film-maker Leni Riefenstahl, who was a propagandist and apologist for Hitler. But, the most disturbing fact I learnt was that although Hitler did not congratulate Owens, President Roosevelt did not invite him to the White House.

[Aside. It took me a while to get the double meaning of the title].

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