Inspired by the true story of Jewish athlete Gretel Bergmann, this is a remarkable piece of forgotten Olympic history. Bergmann (award-winning actress Karoline Herfurth) was considered a top contender for the gold medal in the women’s high jump at the 1936 Summer Games in Nazi-controlled Berlin.
With the Americans threatening an Olympic boycott if Jewish athletes were barred from competing Bergman, who had already left Germany to establish her career in the UK, was forced by the Nazis to return to Germany to attend the Olympic training camp.
Since the Nazis could not risk the possibility of a Jewish athlete on the Aryan team winning an Olympic medal they conspire to replace her in the team with an unknown über-athlete Marie Ketteler (Sebastian Urzendowsky). Years later it is revealed that Marie is in fact a man. Berlin 36 is the exploration of a tenuous friendship between two outsiders who find themselves in unimaginable circumstances.