Leni Riefenstahl

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Leni Riefenstahl
Helene Bertha Amalie Riefenstahl
BirthplaceBerlin, German Empire

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.


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).

References in periodicals archive ?
He has also recently completed a play Leni-Leni about the German film maker Leni Riefenstahl and is writing a novel on the 1936 Berlin Olympics.
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In 1935, the notorious Nazi propaganda film ''Triumph des Willens'' (Triumph of the Will), directed by Leni Riefenstahl, premiered in Berlin with Adolf Hitler present.
While Hollywood dithered, even initially hosting Nazi director Leni Riefenstahl, independent projects often faced suppression by city and state censorship boards.
Rumors have long persisted about Walt Disney's alleged anti-Semitism, fueled mostly by his support of die anti-Communist and anti-Semitic Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals and his welcoming of German Nazi-propaganda filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl to California to show her work.
An old woman, feeding ducks, seems as old as Leni Riefenstahl.
Few would dispute that the German filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl wrongly employed her talent and her technical inventiveness in the service of Nazism's monstrous ideology, and history has justly condemned her.
But the 1936 Berlin Games live on, especially because of the film, Olympia, the work of the German film maker, Leni Riefenstahl.
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