Loosely based on historical events, this engaging made-for-TV drama stars the lissome, intense Karoline Herfurth as a Jewish high-jump medalist who hopes to represent Nazi Germany in the 1936 Olympics. Obliged by international pressure to let her train, the Reich nonetheless conspires to knock her out of competition by pitting her against a cross-dressing male athlete (Sebastian Urzendowsky) who’s been raised as a woman by his psychotic mother. A chaste but profoundly emotional bond ensues after the two outsiders are assigned to bunk together in training camp. The movie’s production values fall well short of Leni Riefenstahl standards, but director Kaspar Heidelbach makes the most of an excellent cast and a crisp, unsentimental script. In German with subtitles. 100 min.
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New reviews of selected films screening October 16-22
Selected films making their Chicago premieres at the festival through Thursday, October 15