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The Wonderful, Horrible Life of Leni Riefenstahl (1993)
"Die Macht der Bilder: Leni Riefenstahl" (original title)

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Reviews: 21 user | 28 critic

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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Title: The Wonderful, Horrible Life of Leni Riefenstahl (1993)

The Wonderful, Horrible Life of Leni Riefenstahl (1993) on IMDb 8.1/10

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Herself
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
Herself (archive footage)
Walter Frentz ...
Himself - Camerman 1936 Olymipcs
Joseph Goebbels ...
Himself (archive footage) (as Josef Goebbels)
Rudolf Hess ...
Himself (archive footage)
John Herbert Higgins ...
Himself - U.S. Swimmer (archive footage)
...
Himself (archive footage)
Saburo Ito ...
Himself - Japanese Swimmer (archive footage)
Horst Kettner ...
Himself - Leni's Companion
Reizô Koike ...
Himself - Japanese Swimmer (archive footage)
Guzzi Lantschner ...
Himself - Camerman 1936 Olymipcs
Ralph Metcalfe ...
Himself - U.S. Sprinter (archive footage)
Ray Müller ...
Himself
Jesse Owens ...
Himself (archive footage)
Ernst Röhm ...
Himself (archive footage)
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Storyline

This documentary recounts the life and work of one of most famous, and yet reviled, German film directors in history, Leni Riefenstahl. The film recounts the rise of her career from a dancer, to a movie actor to the most important film director in Nazi Germany who directed such famous propaganda films as Triumph of the Will and Olympiad. The film also explores her later activities after Nazi Germany's defeat in 1945 and her disgrace for being so associated with it which includes her amazingly active life over the age of 90. Written by Kenneth Chisholm <kchishol@execulink.com>

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Release Date:

June 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Power of the Image: Leni Riefenstahl  »

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Box Office

Gross:

$449,707 (USA)
 »

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Edited from Der heilige Berg (1926) See more »

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User Reviews

In-Depth Look at Leni
4 October 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

She was first and foremost a visual artist. What comes across here is her being duped, along with so many Germans, by the aim of the Nazi party.

Her two most famous documentaries were made under the delusion that the prevailing party had a worth mission. This documentary helps to explain this perspective from Riefenstahl's eyes.

Her true awakening came toward the end of the war, when she saw Hitler not visiting bombed out cities to witness the devastation. The final blow was her visiting the concentration camps and seeing the horror there.

This documentary shows many shots of Leni sharing things from her perspective, and denouncing the Nazi regime.

It goes on to show her film work during the war, followed first by her African trip to Nubian tribes, then to her fascinating under water film work. In all cases, her interest comes across as artistic and apolitical.

This is a most informative documentary on one of cinema's most controversial figures.


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