Leni Riefenstahl

(redirected from Berta Helene Amalie Riefenstahl)
Leni Riefenstahl
Helene Bertha Amalie Riefenstahl
Birthday
BirthplaceBerlin, German Empire
Died

Riefenstahl, Leni

(Berta Helene Amalie Riefenstahl) (lā`nē rē`fənshtäl', bĕr`tə hālā`nə ämäl`yə), 1902–2003, German filmmaker, b. Berlin. First a dancer, then an actress, she began directing her own films in 1932. Her Triumph of the Will (1935) documented a huge Nazi rally at NurembergNuremberg
, Ger. Nürnberg , city (1994 pop. 498,945), Bavaria, S Germany, on the Pegnitz River and the Rhine-Main-Danube Canal. One of the great historic cities of Germany, Nuremberg is now an important commercial, industrial, and transportation center.
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 using such innovative techniques as moving cameras, telephoto lenses, and unusual camera angles to produce startling black-and-white footage with wide panoramas and striking closeups, thus dramatizing and glamorizing the ritualistic political event. The film brought her widespread attention as well as HitlerHitler, Adolf
, 1889–1945, founder and leader of National Socialism (Nazism), and German dictator, b. Braunau in Upper Austria. Early Life

The son of Alois Hitler (1837–1903), an Austrian customs official, Adolf Hitler dropped out of high school, and
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's favor and friendship, and she was commissioned to film the 1936 Berlin Olympics (Olympia, 1938). The latter film has been hailed for its lyrical technique. Riefenstahl has sometimes been praised as a visionary and a technically pioneering filmmaker. She also, however, has been condemned as a Nazi propagandist, and her 1930s work has been regarded as inseparable from the propaganda purposes for which they were made. Riefenstahl's connections with the Nazis led to her being blacklisted after 1945. Her later film and photographic work includes underwater pictures and studies of Africa.

Bibliography

See her memoir (1993); biographies by G. B. Infield (1976), T. Leeflang (1991), S. Bach (2007), and J. Trimborn (2007); study by C. C. Graham (1986); A. Taschen, Leni Riefenstahl: Five Lives: A Biography in Pictures (2000); R. Müller, dir., The Wonderful, Horrible Life of Leni Riefenstahl (film, 1993).