IMDb > The Wonderful, Horrible Life of Leni Riefenstahl (1993)
Die Macht der Bilder: Leni Riefenstahl
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The Wonderful, Horrible Life of Leni Riefenstahl (1993) More at IMDbPro »Die Macht der Bilder: Leni Riefenstahl (original title)

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The Wonderful, Horrible Life of Leni Riefenstahl -- 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.

Overview

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Release Date:
June 1994 (USA) See more »
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
2 wins See more »
NewsDesk:
Leni Riefenstahl: 1902-2003
 (From WENN. 9 September 2003)

User Reviews:
Riefenstahl and Eisenstein See more (21 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order)

Leni Riefenstahl ... Herself
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Marlene Dietrich ... 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)

Adolf Hitler ... 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)
Fritz Schilgen ... Himself - Lighting Olympic Cauldron (archive footage)
Luis Trenker ... Himself

Directed by
Ray Müller 
 
Writing credits
Ray Müller 

Produced by
Jacques de Clercq .... producer: Nomad Films
Dimitri de Clercq .... producer: Nomad Films
Waldemar Januzczak .... producer: Channel 4, London (as Waldemar Januszczak)
Hans Peter Kochenrath .... producer: ZDF (as Hans-Peter Kochenrath)
Hans-Jürgen Panitz .... producer: Omega Films
 
Original Music by
Ulrich Bassenge 
Wolfgang Neumann 
 
Cinematography by
Michel Baudour 
Walter A. Franke 
Ulrich Jänchen  (as Ulrich Jaenchen)
Jürgen Martin 
 
Film Editing by
Vera Dubsikova 
Beate Köster 
 
Set Decoration by
Michael Graser 
 
Production Management
Werner Bertolan .... production manager
Stefan Koenig .... production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Nicole Front .... assistant director
 
Sound Department
Tomas Bastian .... sound
Heimo Sahliger .... sound
Alfred Schuhmann .... sound mixer
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Barbara Dolainsky .... assistant camera
Horst Kettner .... underwater cinematographer
Norbert Platzer .... assistant camera
Hermann Sowieja .... assistant camera
 
Editorial Department
Stefan Mothes .... editor: video
Moritz Peters .... assistant editor
 
Other crew
Martin Angres .... video team
Kevin Brownlow .... film-historical advisor
David Culbert .... film-historical advisor
Brend Fischer .... video team
Martin Loiperdinger .... film-historical advisor
Felix Moeller .... archive researcher (as Felix Mueller)
Knut Muhsik .... video team
 

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Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Die Macht der Bilder: Leni Riefenstahl" - France (original title)
"The Power of the Image: Leni Riefenstahl" - USA (TV title)
See more »
Runtime:
180 min
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FAQ

Is it true that Riefenstahl was a skilled mountaineer?
See more »
5 out of 7 people found the following review useful.
Riefenstahl and Eisenstein, 7 March 2008
Author: bramptonbryan from Indiana, United States

>>>> "Why is Leni Riefenstahl, who created propaganda for the murderous Hitler ("Olympia" -- which pioneered many of the techniques now cliché in sports camera-work and editing, and the notorious "Triumph of the Will"), despised and reviled while the work of Eisenstein and others who created propaganda for the murderous Stalin is lovingly taught in film schools?"

Riefenstahl was a brilliant technical innovator, whose status among the top film-makers of the century has never been challenged. I would be very surprised if film schools ignore her work.

On the other hand, she has lied and lied again about her relationship with the Nazis. For example, she has claimed that she met after the war all the Roma and Sinti prisoners whom she used as extras. They were sent to Auschwitz after she had finished with them. She has tried to persuade us that she was a naive ingenue who knew nothing about Nazism and who was horrified that her films were used as propaganda.

Eisenstein was an unapologetic believer in communism, although of a very different kind from that of Stalin. His relations with the regime were extremely difficult after Stalin took power, because of his politics, his artistic techniques and the amount of time he spent abroad. He was forced to write self-denunciations for his deviations from party orthodoxy. Of the five films he made in Russia during the last 20 years of his life, two were banned and two were destroyed.

His films are marred at points by traces of immediate political concerns, as when he hints in "The Battleship Potemkin" (1925), set in 1905, at the "petty-bourgeois individualism" of some Kronstadt sailors, to justify the slaughter of the Kronstadt soviet in 1921. Nevertheless, several of his films are clearly great achievements, despite all the censorship he had to endure.

As for other film-makers who were propagandists for the Soviet Union, as opposed to Russians who made films, such as Mikhail Romm and his pupils, the obvious examples are the documentarists Karmen and Vertov. Karmen is hardly known in the English-speaking world. Vertov is much better known, as a technical innovator and theoretician of film, but his career was destroyed by the rise of "socialist realism".

Eisenstein was never a propagandist for Stalin in the way that Riefenstahl was for Hitler, and the visibility of other Stalinists is decidedly limited. Of course, one could decide that every unpurged Russian director was a Stalinist, or every unpurged American director was a McCarthyite.

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