Bangalore Aug 29, 2013 India’s hockey wizard Dhyan Chand and his team’s performance at the 1936 Berlin Olympics is likely to be part of Indian film archives if the efforts of Dhyan Chand's family bear fruit. August 29th marks the legend's 108th birth anniversary which is also celebrated as India's National Sports Day.
Led by the hockey maestro, the team - participating under the title 'British India hockey team' - gave Hitler's Germany an 8-1 drubbing in the men's final.
The 31-year-old Dhyan Chand scored a hat-trick and a 70-minute film of the game has been tracked down, stowed away by the family of Leni Rifenstahl, the famous Nazi-propaganda filmmaker in Berlin. In five games at the Games, Dhyan Chand's team scored 38 goals and conceded just one.
Ashok Kumar, Chand’s son, however reckoned that the task won’t be easy.
"We have just managed to touch base with concerned people who are in possession of those tapes. Hopefully, we will be able to get them at the earliest," Ashok told TOI on Wednesday.
"They have laid down stringent conditions and it may not be possible for me personally to fulfill them. If need be we will take the help of the Indian government to get those recordings," he added.
A two-time hockey Olympian and a great forward himself, Ashok won bronze in Munich 1972 and was a World Cup winner in 1975. He added that he didn't possess any clips of that historic final match but only had photographs.
Captured on celluloid as part of "Olympia", a two-part documentary by Rifenstahl who was handpicked and commissioned by Hitler to make a film on the Berlin Olympics, there is enough material on the final - a rare German defeat at the Games. It is retained in the film, thought by many to depict the Nazi idea of fairplay.
Dubey stumbled about their existence only a few days ago when he was informed about the existence of such a tape.
"Clippings from that final match are available in bits and pieces. If you join them, it can make for a 20 to 25-minute video. But if you have the entire match in one sequence, it will be our biggest achievement," said Dubey.
It is possible that there are passages of the film that were edited out of Rifenstahl's film, and that could be stored with her family, and Dubey believes there is enough evidence to show that more clips other than just the final match exist.
"I am told that there are other clips of the matches involving India in the group games as well. It would be nice to get them all," he added.