Little did either of the young parents realize that their new child would ultimately prove to be one of the most controversial and influential females in an artistic field that, at the time, was still very much in its youthful development.
Her father, Alfred Riefenstahl, who owned a plumbing firm, and her only brother, Heinz, died in World War II —45; a war fought between the Axis powers: Germany, Italy, and Japan—and the Allies: As a child she enjoyed reading, painting, and dancing.
Early on she decided to become a dancer and received thorough training, both in traditional Russian ballet and in modern dance with Mary Wigman — It was during her recovery period that her life would change forever when she saw one of the popular mountain films of Arnold Fanck.
With characteristic determination and energy she set out to meet Fanck and talk him into offering her an acting role in his Der heilige Berg The Holy Mountain, The film was well-received, and Riefenstahl made up her mind to stay with the relatively new medium of motion pictures.
Over the next seven years she made five more films with Fanck.
Not only did she learn to climb and ski well, she also absorbed all she could about camera work, directing, and editing. Eventually Riefenstahl dreamed up a different kind of mountain film, more romantic and mystical, in which a woman, played by herself, would be the central character and which she herself would direct.
Das blaue Licht The Blue Light, was based on a mountain legend and was shot in remote parts of the Tessin and the Dolomite mountains in northern Italy. The Blue Light won praise overseas, where it received the silver medal at the Biennale in Venice, Italy, and at home, where it also attracted the attention of Adolf Hitler.
Sieg des Glaubens Victory of Faith, has been lost; presumably it was destroyed because it showed party members who were soon afterwards killed by Hitler.
Hitler then invited Riefenstahl to do the rally as well, a task she claimed to have accepted only after a second "invitation" and the promise of total artistic freedom.
Triumph des Willens Triumph of the Will, is considered by many to be the propaganda film of all times. Later, Riefenstahl maintained she intended the movie to be a documentary.
Carefully edited from over sixty hours of film by herself, with concern for rhythm and variety rather than chronological order of time accuracy, it emphasized Leni Riefenstahl. Reproduced by permission of the Kobal Collection. Triumph of the Will made a powerful appeal to the irrational, emotional side of the viewer, particularly in Germany at the time.
Not surprisingly, the film was awarded the German Film Prize for Unsere Wehrmacht Day of Freedom: Our Armed Forces, was in a way a sequel, shot to please the German Armed Forces, who were not at all pleased about having received little attention in Triumph of the Will.
The Olympic Games Another major assignment from Hitler followed: Careful preparation, technical inventiveness, and eighteen months of editing helped Riefenstahl elevate sports photography—until then a matter for newsreels only—to a level of art rarely achieved.
From the naked dancers in the opening sequence and the emphasis upon the African American athlete Jesse Owens — to the striking diving and steeplechase scenes, the film celebrated the beauty of the human form in motion through feats of strength and endurance.
The film was finally finished in Jun 24, · The Wonderful Horrible Life Of Leni Riefenstahl () Written and Directed by Ray Muller; He reconstructs her career, beginning with her emergence as a star and director of German "mountain films," a lates genre that glorified a cult of idealized heroism with stories of adventures in the German Alps.
"The Wonderful Horrible Life /5. The movie has an important place in American history—and the history of LIF. This is one of two current biographies out on Leni Riefenstahl (), who remains somewhat radioactive give her close association with Hitler and other top Nazi leaders during the 's and 's.
The claustrophobia was awful for the diggers, the labor exhausting. But 29 prisoners escaped the German camp before the tunnel collapsed. Daniel Ford reviews “The Escape Artists” by Neal Bascomb. Leni Riefenstahl: Leni Riefenstahl, German film director, actress, producer, and photographer who is best known for her documentaries of the s dramatizing the power and pageantry of the Nazi movement.
Her notable works included Triumph of the Will and a two-part film on the Olympics. Learn more about her life and career.
In , Riefenstahl was the subject of the award-winning German documentary film The Wonderful, Horrible Life of Leni Riefenstahl, directed by Ray Müller. Riefenstahl appeared in the film and answered several questions and detailed the production of her iridis-photo-restoration.com active: –