Leni Riefenstahl Essay

1444 Words6 Pages
‘Those who have the greatest impact on history are remembered as much for their faults as their achievements’. To what extent does the study of your personality support this view? Leni Riefenstahl was one of the most revolutionary—and certainly most controversial—filmmakers of the early twentieth century. The lasting influence of her innovative filmmaking techniques on twentieth-century cinema is undisputed by filmmakers and scholars throughout history, but the exact nature of her work is surrounded by ongoing controversy. Riefenstahl’s production of the feature films Triumph of the Will and Olympia have left a lasting imprint on history; these films established Riefenstahl’s influential career as a film director under the years of the Nazi regime. Although these films are attributed by scholars and critics to be Riefenstahl’s greatest achievements they are also considered to be her greatest fault, for the political denotation attached to their purpose. Before World War II, Riefenstahl was praised for her artistic achievements of these films, however the post war years present a hostile reception to her work, as they have since been decontextualized and criticized for their questionable propagandist content. Riefenstahl’s impact on history has changed greatly overtime, as she is remembered for both her artistic contribution to the social and cultural life of Germany and pioneering of revolutionary cinematography and in contrast her association with the Nazi party and her apparent glorification of the ‘Fascist aesthetic’. The artistic flair behind Riefenstahl’s production of Triumph of the Will lays testimony to her revolutionary filming technique that assiduously cultivated her image as the one of the greatest female artists of her era. Riefenstahl’s work on Triumph of the Will received much praise for its stylistic features; writer Jon Dan van der described her
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