Sunday, 13 January 2008

A Documentary I'd like to see made this year

Norman Pritchard is not a name you hear too often. It's normally trotted out by the newspapers once every 4 years around the time that the Olympics come around. Born in Kolkata in 1875, he won 2 silver medals at the 1900 Olympics. The IOC lists him as having competed for India, though the IAAF has in recent years claimed that he represented Britain. Considering that there are very few Indians who have won medals at the Olympics in individual events, this itself would make for somewhat interesting viewing. But what's interesting is what happens after that. He moved to Hollywood, changed his name to Norman Trevor, and acted in silent movies for a couple of decades. Going by the names of the characters he played, I'd guess he played a lot of English establishment-types - armymen, judges, counts and the like.

Thus far, we have the story of an Anglo-Indian athlete who wins an Olympic medal, then goes to Hollywood and plays Englishmen. But I'm not done yet. I'd like to see the documentary hosted by Tom Alter. That would add a touch of symmetry to it, considering Alter is an American who came to Bollywood and started his career mainly playing Englishmen, and also did a bit of sports commentary and writing. Release it in 2008, and you would have a movie about an Indian Olympian the year that China hosts the games.

I think the story works on a whole lot of levels.

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