Leni Riefenstahl

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Person.png Leni Riefenstahl  Rdf-icon.png
(film director)
Leni Riefenstahl.jpg
Leni Riefenstahl's "warning from history"[1]

Helene Bertha Amalie "Leni" Riefenstahl (22 August 1902 – 8 September 2003) was a German film director.[2]

Childhood

Born in 1902, Leni Riefenstahl grew up in Germany with her brother Heinz (1905–1944), who was killed on the Eastern Front in World War II. A talented swimmer and artist, she also became interested in dancing during her childhood, taking dancing lessons and performing across Europe.

Move into acting

After seeing a promotional poster for the 1924 film Der Berg des Schicksals ("The Mountain of Destiny"), Riefenstahl was inspired to move into acting. Between 1925 and 1929, she starred in five successful motion pictures.

Film director

Leni Riefenstahl became one of the few women in Germany to direct a film during the Weimar Period when, in 1932, she decided to try directing with her own film called Das Blaue Licht ("The Blue Light").

In the 1930s, she directed Triumph des Willens ("Triumph of the Will") and Olympia, resulting in worldwide attention and acclaim. The movies are widely considered two of the most effective, and technically innovative, propaganda films ever made. Her involvement in Triumph des Willens, however, significantly damaged her career and reputation after the war. The exact nature of her relationship with Nazi Party leader Adolf Hitler remains a matter of debate. However, Hitler was in close collaboration with Riefenstahl during the production of at least three important Nazi films, and a closer friendship is claimed to have existed. When in 2000 Jodie Foster was planning a biographical drama on Riefenstahl, war-crime documenters warned against a revisionist view that glorified the director. They stated that publicly Riefenstahl seemed "quite infatuated" with Hitler and was in fact the last surviving member of his "inner circle".[3] Others go further, arguing that Riefenstahl's visions were essential to the success of the Holocaust.[4] After the war, Riefenstahl was arrested, but classified as being a "fellow traveller" or "Nazi sympathiser" only and was not associated with war crimes. Throughout her life, she denied having known about the Holocaust. Besides directing, Riefenstahl released an autobiography and wrote several books on the Nuba people.[5]

Death

Leni Riefenstahl died of cancer on 8 September 2003 at the age of 101 and was buried at Munich Waldfriedhof.[6]

 

Related Document

TitleTypePublication dateAuthor(s)Description
Document:The Assange Arrest is a Warning From HistoryArticle12 April 2019John PilgerLeni Riefenstahl, close friend of Adolf Hitler, whose films helped cast the Nazi spell over Germany told me that the message in her films, the propaganda, was dependent not on “orders from above” but on what she called the “submissive void” of the public: "When people no longer ask serious questions, they are submissive and malleable. Anything can happen.”


References

  1. Document:The Assange Arrest is a Warning From History
  2. Leni Riefenstahl ou le talent artistique au service d'une entreprise de mort - La cinéaste officielle du régime hitlérien aura cent ans le 22 août. Un destin qui épouse l'histoire du XXe siècle et pose la question des liens entre esthétique et idéologie
  3. Davis, Simon (5 October 2000). "Jodie Foster film about Hitler aide angers Jews" (1959). Daily Telegraph.Page Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css must have content model "Sanitized CSS" for TemplateStyles (current model is "plain text").
  4. Scheinberg, Robert (4 September 1997). "Award to German filmmaker spurs debate on her role as propagandist". JTA News. Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Retrieved 27 February 2017. ‘Without the Riefenstahls of the world in the 1930s, the Shoah might not have happened. I would consider her an unindicted co-conspirator.’ (Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center)Page Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css must have content model "Sanitized CSS" for TemplateStyles (current model is "plain text").
  5. La cinéaste allemande Leni Riefenstahl est morte - La réalisatrice allemande Leni Riefenstahl, qui mit sa caméra au service d'Hitler, est décédée lundi soir à l'âge de 101 ans, selon une journaliste se présentant comme très proche
  6. Leni Riefenstahl, artiste asservie au nazisme - La cinéaste allemande est morte lundi soir 8 septembre en Bavière, à l'âge de 101 ans. Intime d'Adolf Hitler, propagandiste du parti nazi, la réalisatrice du "Triomphe de la volonté" n'avait jamais renié cet engagement. Elle avait reconquis une stature internationale dans les années 1970, grâce à ses photographies
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