Leni Riefenstahl

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by Nolsie
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Leni Riefenstahl

Born in Berlin on August 22, 1902, Riefenstahl became fascinated with the possibilities of the medium of film. She started her career by acting and dancing in films. Riefenstahl started directing films and in 1932 Riefenstahl directed her first major feature film, Das blaue Licht (The Blue Light) the film was mildly succesful and well recieved but most importantly caught the eye of a rising politican named Adolf Hitler. Hitler saw Leni as someone who could project the image of the Nazi's in the way that Hitler himself wanted. Hitler asked Riefenstahl to direct a short film, Der Sieg des Glaubens (The Victory of Faith), shot at that year's Nuremberg Nazi Party Rally. The film was a template for her more famous work, Triumph des Willens (Triumph of the Will), shot at the Nuremberg Rally the following year, in 1934. Her career clearly shows, however, that far from being just an innocent victim of Nazi political propaganda, she was instrumental in creating a charade of “beauty and harmony” for the most barbaric and reactionary regime in modern history.

Her Propaganda

1902 - Leni Riefenstahl is born1921 - Nazi's Formed1932 - The Blue Light- Leni's first directed film1932 - Leni meets Hitler1933 - Hitler becomes Chancellor1935 - Triumph of the Will first screens 1935 - Triumph of the Will wins Global awards1938 - Olympia first screens 2003 - Leni passed away yyyy - Event Name

Within Joseph Goebbels' empire of propaganda Leni Riefenstahl emerged as the favourite filmmaker of the Nazi regime. She was a brilliant artist and skillful propagandist who, from the beginning, aroused considerable debate. Some critics argue they are the best propaganda films ever made.Propaganda and Indoctrination provided the population with the satisfaction of belonging to the Volksgemeinschaft, "Hitler envisioned the ideal German society as a Volksgemeinschaft, a racially unified and hierarchically organized body in which the interests of individuals would be strictly subordinate to those of the nation"-5

Lasting Impact

Riefenstahl is above all known for her close collaboration with the Nazi regime in the thirties, she played a major role in the public image of the National Socialists and how they were seen by the people of Germany through her imagery. "Leni Riefenstahl became Nazi Germany's most famous film maker. In a state where women played a secondary role to men, Riefenstahl was given a free hand by Hitler to produce propaganda films for the Nazi regime"-4. Riefenstahls work attrracted to the broader community in her beautiful imagery but also in the content of what she was filming, she opened the eyes of the German Public to the reality of the Regime, in a glorified way as Hitler of course would have wanted. The Nazi regime, Hitler and Leni Riefenstahl used her medium of propaganda (Film) effectively to mobilize the German population to support its wars of conquest until the very end of the regime. Nazi propaganda was likewise essential to motivating those who were to support the regime also served to secure the acquiescence of millions of others.



Leni Riefenstahl



Triumph of the will

"(Triumph of the Will) was a totally unique and incomparable glorification of the power and beauty of our movement." -Hitler

Riefenstal used her propaganda, a medium which was film, with the aid of the Nazi regime and in paticular Hitler to advocate the Nazi Regime itself to the general German Public. Her beautiful visuals and the insight of the glorified Nazi's became bate for the Nazi's to gain votes from the easily won over German poulation. In the defense of the German Population the ingrediants of the loved Chancellor Hitler and the cinematography of Reifenstahl made it hard for the result of "Triumph of the Will" to be only a success in the winning over of a lot of the German population. Reifenstahl therefore could be blamed for the result of the winning over of a lot of the German population and turning them into the Nazi Germany population.


James Nolan


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