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


1 item from 2003


Leni Riefenstahl: 1902-2003

9 September 2003 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

German filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl, who gained both fame and infamy as the director of the Nazi propaganda film Triumph of the Will and other movies for the Third Reich, died Monday night at her home in Poecking, Germany; she was 101. An actress who turned to filmmaking, Riefenstahl was hand-picked by Adolf Hitler to direct a documentary of the Sixth Nazi Party Congress in Nuremberg after he saw her 1932 film The Blue Light. The resulting 1934 film, Triumph of the Will, proclaimed Riefenstahl to be a masterful, innovative filmmaker, as did Olympia, her chronicle of the 1936 Berlin Olympics. It was also her hypnotic, magisterial touch and breathtaking sense of beauty that branded both movies as the greatest propaganda films ever made, with critics saying her work glorified Hitler and showed him as a benign leader and savior of Germany. Though she received acclaim for her filmmaking genius, Riefenstahl would forever attempt to live down her association with the Third Reich, and struggled to make clear the distinctions between her aesthetic talents and the political affiliations that she documented in her work. In her defense, Riefenstahl said she had no idea of Hitler's "Final Solution" until after World War II and steadfastly maintained that Triumph of the Will contained "not one single anti-Semitic word." Despite the stigma that followed her (chronicled most effectively in the 1993 documentary The Wonderful, Horrible Life of Leni Riefenstahl), she resumed filmmaking in the 1960s and continued to work well into her later years; at the age of 100 released Impressions Under Water, a film showcasing her passion for underwater photography. --Prepared by IMDb staff »

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1 item from 2003


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