Der Sieg des Glaubens (English: The Victory of Faith, Victory of Faith, or Victory of the Faith) (1933) is the first propaganda film directed by Leni Riefenstahl. Her film recounts the ...
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Der Sieg des Glaubens (English: The Victory of Faith, Victory of Faith, or Victory of the Faith) (1933) is the first propaganda film directed by Leni Riefenstahl. Her film recounts the Fifth Party Rally of the Nazi Party, which occurred in Nuremberg from 30 August to 3 September 1933. The film is of great historic interest because it shows Adolf Hitler and Ernst Röhm on close and intimate terms, before Röhm was shot on the orders of Hitler on the Night of the Long Knives in July 1934. All known copies of the film were destroyed on Hitler's orders, and it was considered lost until a copy turned up in the 1990s in the United KingdomWritten by
Director Leni Riefenstahl was visiting Great Britain in April 1934, to speak at major universities to discuss her documentary film techniques. It is during this visit that at least one copy of this film is known to have been duplicated. It was found after being in storage for over 60 years, and is the only known surviving print. The opening credits appear to have been shot off of a screen projection, but the remainder of the footage appears to be a direct copy of a print. See more »
Its leaders today are the leaders of the German Reich who must answer to history.
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Die Fahnen hoch (Horst Wessel Lied)
by S.A. See more »
Echoes from the past:
"Here is a Party-Political Broadcast By The Nazi Party.", albeit through the medium of cinema rather than, then, and having a very elite ownership, of television. This is the beginnings of a relationship of cinema and the art of propaganda in a New World Order of populist dogma of the 1930s in the newly appointed NAZI Germany.
Written, edited, produced and directed by the imaginative and inventive filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl (1902-2003). Der Sieg des Glaubens is the first film of a Reichsparteitag (Reich Party Convention) for the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (National Socialist German Workers' Party - NSDAP) filmed on and between Wednesday the 30th of August to Sunday the 3rd of September 1933 at the city of Nuremberg, Germany, that concerns and projects their right-wing ideology; though the major party rallies had been an ongoing occasion since 1928, this being the tenth year anniversary of the creation of the NSDAP, it is here we see for the first time a Reich Party Convention being filmed.
The reasoning behind the first shooting was that by January 31st 1933 Adolf Hitler, leader of the NAZI party, had then become the official Chancellor of Germany and with its feet of the NAZI party securely through the door, it was time to reach further afield and project an image fitting for the Deutschland volk that is befitting for both people and party.
We bear witness to its rhetoric of Volkskörper (people's body - national body or a form of homogeneous within a contemporary context) with the delivering of the message of Blut und Boden (Blood and Soil) and a people divided is now a country united as one; regardless of class, position and bearing. Its all very illuminating of a jingoistic New World Order with its tens of thousands of disciples and its endless processions of flag-waving, saluting, cheering and marching to form a solid, perpetual, mass of sycophantic wave of obedience and control. This is the films pure essence at its epicentre, to enthral and to captivate its target audience and bring it to its knees. Image here is particularly important, the art of the visual image and the manipulative methods of the medium of cinema is now reaching its zenith. Masters' of manipulation indeed.
With is in mind, Victory of the Faith comes with no spoken narrative over the course of the film, and has only delivered dialogue through the spoken word of Hitler, Röhm, Julius Streicher (12th February 1885 - 16th October 1946) et al. This has the fatal mistake of coming across as a rather tedious affair, minus any spoken narrative we are left with just the musical score of Herbert Windt (15th September 1894 - 2nd November 1965) and very repetitive sequences of marching and Standard bearing Hitler youth, SA troops and SS legions set against the backdrops of city streets, open fields and stadium. With only the speeches to break the silence of fatigue.
Founder and leader of the Sturmabteilung (SA: Storm Detachment/ Storm Battalion) Ernst Julius Günther Röhm (28th November 1887 - 1st July 1934) died from execution during Nacht der langen Messer (Night of the Long Knives) after false allegations of a Röhm Putsch and betrayal toward his friend and ally Adolf Hitler (20th April 1889 - 30th April 1945). And it is this event that makes Der Sieg des Glaubens such an important historical document within the NAZI time frame.
Leni Riefenstahl, during April 1934, came to England bringing Victory Of The Faith with her, on the theme of discussing her filming technique and in doing so inadvertently gave way for someone to make a duplicate. For after the murder of his long-time friend, Hitler ordered that all copies of this film be destroyed, to literally wipe Röhm out of the Germanic history books and from all past and future existence. They had succeeded, concerning this film, until the 1990s a duplicated version had been discovered in England and is now the only surviving print.
This one and only print of a time when the NAZI party was entering its second decade shows Hitler and his entourage at its most belligerent toward a new Germany and romantic side toward its fallen comrades during the first world war. Fifteen years after the Great War we stand as observer to the grudge bearing animosity and the reasoning toward the New World Order of the Third Reich. The people lap it up, albeit under duress, voluntary or fear. This is only going to end in tears.
To accompany this film at least two non-fiction writings are worthy of note, each one with personnel insights, and experiences, to this era: "A Hitler Youth: Growing Up In Germany In The 1930s" by Henry Metelmann (25th December 1922 - 24th July 2011) and "Travellers In The Third Reich: The Rise Of Fascism Through The Eyes Of Everyday People" by Julia Boyd. Der Sieg des Glaubens is seen, then, but not for all, as an optimistic venture in the eyes of ordinary people; but this came, on reflection, at a cost too severe for all and on understanding its philosophy through this extremely serious and dangerous film, we should be, ironically, grateful that this piece of European history is, once more, readily available to examine, to re-examine, the mindset of this Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei doctrine.
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