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Olympia 2. Teil - Fest der Schönheit (1938)

The document of the 1936 Olympics at Berlin, orchestrated as Nazi propaganda.

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A documentary about the life and work of Leni Riefenstahl, a German film director most notorious for making the most effective propaganda films for the Nazis.

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Himself - Swimmer, Japan
...
Himself - Rower, Britain
Ralf Berzsenyi ...
Himself - Small-Bore Rifle, Hungary
Ferenc Csík ...
Himself - Swimmer, Hungary
Richard Degener ...
Himself - Springboard Diver, USA
Willemijntje den Ouden ...
Herself - Swimmer, Holland
Charles des Jammonières ...
Himself - Free Pistol, France
...
Herself - Platfom Diver, USA
...
Himself - Gymnastics, Germany
Marjorie Gestring ...
Herself - Springboard Diver, USA
Albert Greene ...
Himself - Springboard Diver, USA
Tetsuo Hamuro ...
Himself - 1st Place: 200m Breaststroke, Japan
Josef Hasenöhrl ...
Himself - Single Sculls Rower, Austria
Heinz Hax ...
Himself - Rapid-Fire Pistol, Germany
...
Himself
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Storyline

After being commissioned by the 1936 Olympic Committee to create a feature film of the Berlin Olympics, Riefenstahl shot a documentary that celebrates the human body by combining the poetry of bodies in motion with close-ups of athletes in the heat of competition. The production tends to glorify the young male body and, some say, expresses the Nazi attitude toward athletic prowess. Miss Riefenstahl captures the grace of athletes during field hockey, soccer, bicycling, equestrian, aquatic and gymnastic events. Highlights are the Pentathlon and the Decathlon, which was won by American Glenn Morris; it ends with the triumphant conclusion of the games. Written by Fiona Kelleghan <fkelleghan@aol.com>

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Documentary | Sport

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Release Date:

29 March 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Olymp II  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Leni Riefenstahl first contacted the biggest German film studio, Ufa, in order for them to finance the film. Friedrich A. Mainz, the studio head refused because of cost, so she contacted Tobis-Filmkunst who agreed to finance the film and put up ½ million Reichmarks upfront (three times the cost of a standard film at the time). The contract was only signed in December 1936, four months after the end of the Olympic Games. See more »

Connections

Featured in 100 Years of Olympic Glory (1996) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Festival of Beauty is Absolutely Correct!
25 August 1999 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Rarely -- perhaps never before or since -- has the sheer beauty of the human body and the joy in its perfection been as well captured as in in "Olympia, Festival of Beauty". Watching this is film is to capture some sense of what the Ancient Greeks meant when they discussed _arete_ -- the "virtue" of being "beautiful" in body and soul. The great Humanists of the Renaissance would have been honored to count Miss Riefenstahl among their number had they been able, by some miracle, to see this canvas of Beauty in motion. As art, this film ranks with the works of Michaelangelo, Donatello, Phidias, and others who have scaled the empyrean heights and seen Humanity looking back at them. Poignant is the dolorous thought that within a few years so many of these paragons of _arete_ would be killed in the War. It is no wonder that Joseph Goebbels was said to have disliked Riefenstahl -- while she (even in "Triumph of the Will") held a mirror to the beauty of humanity and its highest aspirations, he dredged up the most noxious evils of the soul and twisted them into images of fear & horror; while she emphasized unity and camaraderie, he stressed division & distrust in order to secure his own vile position under the Fuhrer whom they both viewed so differently. Miss Riefenstahl portrayed people of all races and nations at the most sublime pinnacle of their own perfection, while a few years later Walt Disney and the Warner Brothers gave us buck-toothed Japanese midgets and paunchy German robots as The Inhuman Enemy. Today, however, it is SHE who is reviled. The more things change ... the more they remain the same


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