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The dancer, Diotima, meets an engineer and skier, Karl, in his cottage in the mountains where they fall in love and have an affair. When Karl's young friend, Vigo, meets her she gives him her scarf. The infatuated Vigo mistakenly believes she is in love with him. Karl sees Diotima innocently caressing Vigo and he believes that Diotima is betraying him with his friend. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
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Director/Script: Arnold Fank, Cast: Leni Riefenstahl, Luis Trenker, Ernst Petersen.
Arnold Fank was known for "mountain films" during the German silent era. This is considered to be his most famous. This film is basically a mellow drama. It is the mountaineering, skiing and dancing that make this film so interesting to watch. It centers around this beautiful dancer named Diotima (played by Leni Riefenstahl) and two men that fall for her, a mountain climber named Karl (played by Luis Trenker)and a ski champ named Vigo (played by Ernst Petersen). Karl and Diotima develop a relationship, Karl leaves to go on a mountain climb. During this time she meets Vigo at a ski competition and develops a friendship with him. Karl comes back from his expedition to find Diotima with Vigo and he become very jealous of Vigo. He offers to take him on a climb up the north face of a mountain during the time of the season when it is considered dangerous to do so because he wants to do harm to his friend. Vigo reluctantly offers to go because of the climbing conditions. Anyhow, they climb the mountain together, they get up on a high ledge and Karl pushes him off the ledge but ends up trying to save him because they are roped together. They are stuck up there for a long period of time in harsh conditions. At some point Vigo can't take hanging on the ledge any longer and asks Karl to cut the rope and save himself. Karl refuses to do this. I will not say what happens to them.
This film could be enjoyed by anyone who likes classic cinema and silent films and is a great film to have for anyone who is into skiing or mountaineering. The mountain photography is very good. The film is colour tinted mostly in blue and golden hues. Many of Leni's dancing scenes are shown with her silhouetted as are many of the climbing scenes with the colour tinted background. Their is a ski-jump competition scene that is very cool to watch. The ski race is also impressive and it takes up much of the film.
Leni Riefenstahl become a director in her own right. Evidently Hitler was impressed by her work and asked her to make Nazi propaganda films for him and she did. This all but ruined her career. I do not know if she actually shared those views but I have read that she regretted being associated with those films. She lived a long time, dieing just a few years ago. She made her last film just a year or two before she died.This was her first film in over forty years.
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