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Riefenstahl's Triumph of the Will: A Work of Art? Essay

  • Submitted by: jamesakawig
  • on April 13, 2009
  • Category: History
  • Length: 2,162 words

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Below is an essay on "Riefenstahl's Triumph of the Will: A Work of Art?" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Riefenstahl's Triumph of the Will: A Work of Art
Leni Riefenstahl’s Nazi documentary, Triumph of the Will, however technically dazzling and artfully made, contradicts the sinister and inhumane actions of the Nazi regime the film celebrates. This propaganda film commissioned by Adolf Hitler, documents a 1934 Nazi Rally in Nuremberg, Germany. The film inventively presents the rally’s grandeur, swastika banners waving gaily, thousands of German people eager to see and hear Hitler’s address. Under Hitler’s authorization and Riefenstahl’s direction this film glorified and mysticized the Nazi party. The film was used to legitimize the Third Reich, thus gaining support for action by the German people. Triumph of the Will poses difficult questions on what constitutes great art more than sixty years after its completion. When evaluating this film, should we separate the film’s creator, Riefenstahl, from her film and its consequences? When judging a work as great art, should we separate content from form? Can Nazi art be considered great art although we know their message is against humanity? With much of my   referencing   from Ben Shahn’s book, The Shape of Content, I will examine these questions in an attempt to show that great art like anything labelled great must first accomplish certain goals which include excellence and impact of content and form. Although it is nearly great, its content and history cripple the art, demoting it to a great technical film and as an example of flawed talent. Triumph of the Will, though eloquent and innovative, fails to attain the status of great art because of the inseparable nature of content, form, and artist.
Although many artists wish for their works to been seen and judged as an independent entity from themselves, the audience has a tendency to relate the work of art in context to such things as a work’s historical background, its artist, and the personality or purpose behind the artist. Riefenstahl is no different, consistently...

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"Riefenstahl's Triumph of the Will: A Work of Art?". Anti Essays. 22 Jun. 2018


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Riefenstahl's Triumph of the Will: A Work of Art?. Anti Essays. Retrieved June 22, 2018, from the World Wide Web: https://www.antiessays.com/free-essays/Riefenstahl-s-Triumph-Of-The-Will-A-46586.html