It seemed as if the Earth's surface were spreading out in front of me, like a hemisphere that suddenly splits apart in the middle, spewing out an enormous jet of water, so powerful that it touched the sky and shook the earth". , Olympia premiered for Hitler's 49th birthday in 1938.  The motion picture was generally recognized as an epic, innovative work of propaganda filmmaking. Helene Bertha Amalie "Leni" Riefenstahl (German: [ˈleː.niː ˈʁiː.fn̩.ʃtaːl] (listen); 22 August 1902 – 8 September 2003) was a German film director, photographer, and actress, known for her seminal role in producing Nazi propaganda.. , Riefenstahl attended dancing academies and became well known for her self-styled interpretive dancing skills, traveling across Europe with Max Reinhardt in a show funded by Jewish producer Harry Sokal. She is described as fitting in with Hitler's ideal of Aryan womanhood, a feature he had noted when he saw her starring performance in Das Blaue Licht.  By later accounts, Goebbels thought highly of Riefenstahl's filmmaking but was angered with what he saw as her overspending on the Nazi-provided filmmaking budgets.  Riefenstahl apologized and said, "I regret that Sinti and Roma [people] had to suffer during the period of National Socialism. Nazism courted the masses by the means of slogans that were aimed directly at the instincts and emotions of the people. Right.  Riefenstahl received private funding for the production of Tiefland, but the filming in Spain was derailed and the project was cancelled.  In the film, Riefenstahl played an innocent peasant girl who is hated by the villagers because they think she is diabolic and cast out. ", "Gypsies' Fate Gaunts Film Muse of Hitler", "Pro-Nazi Filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl, 101, Dies", "The Wonderful, Horrible Life of Leni Riefenstahl", "Olympia in America, 1938: Leni Riefenstahl, Hollywood, and the Kristallnacht", "Her Films Glorified Hitler now Leni Riefenstahl's Story Hits the Screen", "Hitler's Filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl Celebrates 101st Birthday", "Steven Soderbergh Reveals He Dropped A Leni Riefenstahl Biopic To Do 'Contagion' Instead", "Art of Justice: The Filmmakers at Nuremberg", "Leni Riefenstahl: The Casualty of Triumph", "Leni: The Life and Work of Leni Riefenstahl, by Steven Bach", "Lonesome Leni: Wonderful, Horrible Life of Leni Riefenstahl", "Leni Riefenstahl, Film Innovator Tied to Hitler, Dies at 101", "What They Said About... Leni Riefenstahl", "Leni Riefenstahl – Propagandist For the Third Reich", International Committee of the Fourth International, "Where There's a Will: the Rise of Leni Riefenstahl", "Valeria Schulczová, Roman Olekšák: Leni", "Quentin Tarantino's 'Basterds' Is a Glorious Mash-up", Newspaper clippings about Leni Riefenstahl, Leni Riefenstahl's Triumph of the Will on MoMA Learning, The Wonderful Horrible Life of Leni Riefenstahl, Cleaning and disinfection of personal diving equipment, Swimming at the 1900 Summer Olympics – Men's underwater swimming, Confédération Mondiale des Activités Subaquatiques, Fédération Française d'Études et de Sports Sous-Marins, Federación Española de Actividades Subacuáticas, International Association for Handicapped Divers, Environmental impact of recreational diving, Table Mountain National Park Marine Protected Area, Finger Lakes Underwater Preserve Association, Maritime Heritage Trail – Battle of Saipan, Use of breathing equipment in an underwater environment, Failure of diving equipment other than breathing apparatus, Testing and inspection of diving cylinders, Association of Diving Contractors International, Hazardous Materials Identification System, International Marine Contractors Association, List of signs and symptoms of diving disorders, European Underwater and Baromedical Society, National Board of Diving and Hyperbaric Medical Technology, Naval Submarine Medical Research Laboratory, Royal Australian Navy School of Underwater Medicine, South Pacific Underwater Medicine Society, Southern African Underwater and Hyperbaric Medical Association, United States Navy Experimental Diving Unit, List of legislation regulating underwater diving, UNESCO Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage, History of decompression research and development, Basic Cave Diving: A Blueprint for Survival, Bennett and Elliott's physiology and medicine of diving, Code of Practice for Scientific Diving (UNESCO), IMCA Code of Practice for Offshore Diving, ISO 24801 Recreational diving services — Requirements for the training of recreational scuba divers, The Silent World: A Story of Undersea Discovery and Adventure, List of Divers Alert Network publications, International Diving Regulators and Certifiers Forum, List of diver certification organizations, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, World Recreational Scuba Training Council, Commercial diver registration in South Africa, American Canadian Underwater Certifications, Association nationale des moniteurs de plongée, International Association of Nitrox and Technical Divers, International Diving Educators Association, National Association of Underwater Instructors, Professional Association of Diving Instructors, Professional Diving Instructors Corporation, National Speleological Society#Cave Diving Group, South African Underwater Sports Federation, 14th CMAS Underwater Photography World Championship, Physiological response to water immersion, Russian deep submergence rescue vehicle AS-28, Submarine Rescue Diving Recompression System, Artificial Reef Society of British Columbia, Diving Equipment and Marketing Association, Society for Underwater Historical Research, Underwater Archaeology Branch, Naval History & Heritage Command, International Submarine Escape and Rescue Liaison Office, Submarine Escape and Rescue system (Royal Swedish Navy), Submarine Escape Training Facility (Australia), Neutral buoyancy simulation as a training aid, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Leni_Riefenstahl&oldid=998880560, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles with unsourced statements from September 2019, Articles needing additional references from September 2019, All articles needing additional references, Wikipedia articles with BIBSYS identifiers, Wikipedia articles with CANTIC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with PLWABN identifiers, Wikipedia articles with RKDartists identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SELIBR identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SUDOC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with Trove identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Film director, producer, screenwriter, photographer, actress, Hazard identification and risk assessment, This page was last edited on 7 January 2021, at 13:01. The personalities and spectres of Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin loom large in the events of the twentieth Century. The Ministry's aim was to ensure that the Nazi message was successfully communicated through art, music, theater, films, books, radio, educational materials, and the press.There were several audiences for Nazi propaganda.  Without her father's knowledge, she enrolled Riefenstahl in dance and ballet classes at the Grimm-Reiter Dance School in Berlin, where she quickly became a star pupil. She put her cameramen on train tracks and had them moving back and forth.  Riefenstahl was friends with Hitler for 12 years. Riefenstahl's cinematic framing of the flags encapsulated its iconography. Then you realize all you're seeing is glory, beauty and triumph, and you don't see the darker side.  Lavish sets made these shots some of the most costly of the film. 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, Das Blaue Licht ("The Blue Light"). And she delivered. Even when the carriers are not mostly submerged under the sea of colored cloth, and when facial features are visible in profile, they attain neither character nor distinctiveness. , Film critic Hal Erickson of The New York Times states that the "Jewish Question" is mainly unmentioned in Triumph des Willens; "filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl prefers to concentrate on cheering crowds, precision marching, military bands, and Hitler's climactic speech, all orchestrated, choreographed and illuminated on a scale that makes Griffith and DeMille look like poverty-row directors". After seeing a promotional poster for the 1924 film Mountain of Destiny, she was inspired to move into acting and between 1925 and 1929 starred in five successful motion pictures.  When news of the event reached the United States, Riefenstahl publicly defended Hitler.  (When Tiefland was eventually shot, between 1940 and 1944, it was done in black and white, and was the third most expensive film produced during the Third Reich. , In 1998 Neue Deutsche Härte band Rammstein released a cover of the Depeche Mode song "Stripped", accompanied by a video incorporating footage from Olympia.  Throughout 1945 to 1948, she was held by various Allied-controlled prison camps across Germany. , The last time Riefenstahl saw Hitler was when she married Peter Jacob on 21 March 1944.  Nevertheless, by 5 October 1939, Riefenstahl was back in occupied Poland filming Hitler's victory parade in Warsaw. Riefenstahl is one of the protagonists of the story "Parachute" from the collection Even This Wildest Hope (2019) by Seyward Goodhand.  After waking up from a coma in a Nairobi hospital, she finished writing the script, but was soon thoroughly thwarted by uncooperative locals, the Suez Canal crisis and bad weather. But she could never escape the controversy, could she?  On 12 September, she was in the town of Końskie when 30 civilians were executed in retaliation for an alleged attack on German soldiers. Traudl Junge, the final secretary for Adolf Hitler, tells of the Nazi dictator's final days in his Berlin bunker at the end of WWII.  In her 90s, Riefenstahl was still photographing marine life and gained the distinction of being one of the world's oldest scuba divers. Riefenstahl relies heavily for her transitions on portentous cutaways to clouds, mist, statuary, foliage, and rooftops.  He saw talent in Riefenstahl and arranged a meeting.  Like Der Sieg des Glaubens and Triumph des Willens, this was filmed at the annual Nazi Party rally at Nuremberg.  Riefenstahl reportedly wanted Sharon Stone to play her rather than Foster.  Filming at the Babelsberg Studios near Berlin began 18 months later in April 1942.  She persuaded him to feature her in one of his films.  Fanck was working on a film in Berlin. Nobody had done that before Riefenstahl.  It was while going to a doctor's appointment that she first saw a poster for the 1924 film Mountain of Destiny. The video for this story is not available, but you can still read the transcript below.  Riefenstahl and Jacob divorced in 1946.  Riefenstahl had a younger brother, Heinz, who was killed at the age of 39 on the Eastern Front in Nazi Germany's war against the Soviet Union. The footage from the rally shows smiling children, cheering crowds, and uniformed Nazis. She had her orders.  However, her relationship with Hitler severely declined in 1944 after her brother died on the Russian Front. The film shows footage taken at the 1934 Nazi Party Rally at Nuremberg. She later committed suicide.  Avery Brundage, President of the International Olympic Committee, praised the film and held Riefenstahl in the highest regard.  However, it was denied entry into the Cannes Film Festival.  Riefenstahl maintained that Goebbels was upset when she rejected his advances and was jealous of her influence on Hitler, seeing her as an internal threat. Nazism created an elaborate system of propaganda, which made use of the new technologies of the 20th century, including cinema.  Her mother was confident her daughter would grow up to be successful in the field of art and therefore gave her full support, unlike Riefenstahl's father, who was not interested in his daughter's artistic inclinations. She was… she showed up at Nuremburg with an extraordinarily talented crew of cameramen. He is MAD!  She negotiated with Louis B. Mayer, and on 8 December, Walt Disney brought her on a three-hour tour showing her the ongoing production of Fantasia. It features military parades and a speech by Adolf Hitler.  She was also athletic, and at the age of twelve joined a gymnastics and swimming club. Riefenstahl was a consummate stylist obsessed with bodies in motion, particularly those of dancers and athletes.  Since Riefenstahl was the only child for several years, Alfred wanted her to carry on the family name and secure the family fortune. In her long life after World War II, she was a photographer, a scuba diver, and wrote an autobiography. Germans were reminded of the struggle against foreig…  She was one of the first filmmakers to use tracking shots in a documentary, placing a camera on rails to follow the athletes' movement. , In 1933, Riefenstahl appeared in the U.S.-German co-productions of the Arnold Fanck-directed, German-language SOS Eisberg and the Tay Garnett-directed, English-language S.O.S. Helene Bertha Amalie Riefenstahl was born in Berlin on 22 August 1902. The interest that Adolf Hitler and his propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels took in film was not only the result of a personal fascination. Eva Braun was the most intimate chronicler of the Nazi regime, capturing Hitler's private life with her cine-camera. ", Critic Judith Thurman said in The New Yorker that, "Riefenstahl's genius has rarely been questioned, even by critics who despise the service to which she lent it. , Riefenstahl heard Nazi Party (NSDAP) leader Adolf Hitler speak at a rally in 1932 and was mesmerized by his talent as a public speaker.  One of Fanck's films that brought Riefenstahl into the limelight was The White Hell of Pitz Palu of 1929, co-directed by G. W.  Riefenstahl often made almost 700 Reichsmarks for each performance and was so dedicated to dancing that she gave filmmaking no thought.  After years of legal wrangling, these were returned to her, but the French government had reportedly damaged some of the film stock whilst trying to develop and edit it, with a few key scenes being missing (although Riefenstahl was surprised to find the original negatives for Olympia in the same shipment). How can we ever thank you?  Years later, Riefenstahl photographed Las Vegas entertainers Siegfried & Roy. ) Hitler was able to convince her to film Triumph des Willens on the condition that she would not be required to make further films for the party, according to Riefenstahl. It dogged her, depressed her for 20 years after the end of the Second World War. The films are widely considered two of the most effective and technically innovative propaganda films ever made. , In interviews for the 1993 documentary The Wonderful, Horrible Life of Leni Riefenstahl, Riefenstahl adamantly denied any deliberate attempt to create Nazi propaganda and said she was disgusted that Triumph des Willens was used in such a way. ", Riefenstahl was portrayed by Zdena Studenková in Leni, a 2014 Slovak drama play about her fictional participation in The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. I'm not political'". American Reckoning – A PBS NewsHour Special Report. Film scholar Mark Cousins notes in his book The Story of Film that, "Next to Orson Welles and Alfred Hitchcock, Leni Riefenstahl was the most technically talented Western film maker of her era". The Nazi Party became the largest elected party in German Reichstag and Hitler was appointed as chancellor of the country in 1933. , When traveling to Hollywood, Riefenstahl was criticized by the Anti-Nazi League very harshly when wanting to showcase her film Olympia soon after its release.  Riefenstahl was a member of Greenpeace for eight years.  The French government confiscated all of her editing equipment, along with the production reels of Tiefland.  She visited Greece to take footage of the route of the inaugural torch relay and the games' original site at Olympia, where she was aided by Greek photographer Nelly's. , Most of Riefenstahl's unfinished projects were lost towards the end of the war. You can see it, actually, even in these few clips.  After the war, Riefenstahl was arrested, but classified as being a "fellow traveler" or "Nazi sympathizer" only and was not associated with war crimes. The following is a list of Nazi propaganda films. The use of film for propaganda had been planned by the  They thought the film might symbolize the love-hate relationship between Germany and France. In addition to "The Triumph of the Will," she would also make a film of the 1936 Olympic Games held in Berlin.  She made a series of films for Fanck, where she learned from him acting and film editing techniques. And from a technical aspect, the angles, the shadows, the close-ups, the moving camera, those things are very much with us now as we watch candidates, as we watch politicians. We have a short clip that we could look at. She had them climbing up flag poles to get a special angle. , On 14 June 1940, the day Paris was declared an open city by the French and occupied by German troops, Riefenstahl wrote to Hitler in a telegram, "With indescribable joy, deeply moved and filled with burning gratitude, we share with you, my Führer, your and Germany's greatest victory, the entry of German troops into Paris. Claudia Koonz, thank you for telling us about this. Adolf Hitler (20 April 1889 – 30 April 1945) was the leader of the National Socialist German Workers' Party and Chancellor of Nazi Germany from 1933 (Führer from 1934) to 1945.  She began to paint and write poetry at the age of four.  She was surprised by how kindly they treated her. Thank you. Where the film does combine diegetic noise with the music, the effects used are human (laughter or cheering) and offer a rhythmic extension to the music rather than a contrast to it. , Riefenstahl survived a helicopter crash in Sudan in 2000 while trying to learn the fates of her Nuba friends during the Second Sudanese Civil War and was airlifted to a Munich hospital where she received treatment for two broken ribs.  Hitler was a fan of the film, and thought Riefenstahl epitomized the perfect German female.  The extras playing Spanish women and farmers were drawn from Romani detained in a camp at Salzburg-Maxglan who were forced to work with her. Jeffrey Brown discusses the impact of her film "The Triumph of … Cheering and in perfect order. With Bruno Ganz, Alexandra Maria Lara, Ulrich Matthes, Juliane Köhler. Downfall (German: Der Untergang) is a 2004 German-language historical war drama film directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel from a screenplay by its producer, Bernd Eichinger.  Upon its 1938 re-release, the names of Balázs and Sokal, both Jewish, were removed from the credits; some reports say this was at Riefenstahl's behest. It is set during the Battle of Berlin in World War II, when Nazi Germany is on the verge of defeat, and depicts the final days of Adolf Hitler (portrayed by Bruno Ganz).  She became inspired to go into movie making, and began visiting the cinema to see films and also attended film shows. © 1996 - 2021 NewsHour Productions LLC. , In the post-war years she was subject of four denazification proceedings, which finally declared her a Nazi sympathizer but she was never prosecuted. Following the Nazi seizure of power in 1933, Hitler established a Reich Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda headed by Joseph Goebbels. Hitler has been represented in popular culture ever since he became a well-known politician in Germany. I like the forest of flags that seemed to be cheering for Hitler. , Film journalist Sandra Smith from The Independent remarked, "Opinions will be divided between those who see her as a young, talented and ambitious woman caught up in the tide of events which she did not fully understand, and those who believe her to be a cold and opportunist propagandist and a Nazi by association. Created under the guidance of famed Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal, this film will unveil the fateful stage by stage radicalization of the Final Solution from early calls for expulsion of the Jews to deportation, mass murder, and genocide. Please check your inbox to confirm. Learn more about Friends of the NewsHour. , The 2017 video game Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus (which takes place in an alternative 1961 after the Nazis won World War 2) features a supporting character heavily implied to be Riefenstahl, voiced by actress Kristina Klebe. , Writer Richard Corliss wrote in Time that he was "impressed by Riefenstahl's standing as a total auteur: producer, writer, director, editor and, in the fiction films, actress. Still impressed with Riefenstahl's work, Hitler asked her to film Triumph des Willens ("Triumph of the Will"), a new propaganda film about the 1934 party rally in Nuremberg.  After meeting Hitler, Riefenstahl was offered the opportunity to direct Der Sieg des Glaubens ("The Victory of Faith"), an hour-long propaganda film about the fifth Nuremberg Rally in 1933. We saw only the good things; we didn’t know bad things were to come. , On one of her adventures, Riefenstahl met Luis Trenker, an actor who had appeared in Mountain of Destiny.  Susan Sontag also claimed that Riefenstahl's “mass athletic demonstrations, a choreographed display of bodies” showed that she had never progressed past her Nazi idealisms. Hitler had ordered Goebbels' Propaganda Ministry to give the film commission to Riefenstahl, but the Ministry had never informed her. A dancer and actress who turned to directing in the early '30s, Riefenstahl became a favorite of Hitler. Absolutely. Members of Rammstein praised Riefenstahl's filmmaking abilities and aesthetic choices in a 2011 documentary of the making of the video, particularly the imagery of the athletes, while simultaneously disassociating themselves from her politics. Now, one of the interesting things is how her work influenced political image making afterwards. She spent about 40 years. , In the 1960s, Riefenstahl became interested in Africa from Ernest Hemingway's Green Hills of Africa and from the photographs of George Rodger.  She edited and dubbed the remaining material and Tiefland premiered on 11 February 1954 in Stuttgart.  Riefenstahl had high hopes for a collaboration with Cocteau called Friedrich und Voltaire ("Friedrich and Voltaire"), wherein Cocteau was to play two roles. Murdered in concentration camps '' extraordinarily talented crew of cameramen glowing Mountain grotto detention camp Berlin... 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