Assess the role of filmaker Leni Riefenstahl as a Nazi propagandist using source analysis

Essay by eolayCollege, UndergraduateA, March 2004

download word file, 7 pages 3.7 3 reviews

Downloaded 90 times

Leni Riefenstahl was a German actress, artist, dancer and film director in the twentieth century. Her association with Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party during the 1930's has turned her into a somewhat controversial figure since 1945. The several films that she directed for Hitler are classified as propaganda for their ideologies of Nazism. Often described as one of the best and most influential directors of the twentieth century, her skilful and masterful film-making techniques used in her Nazi films such as 'Triumph of the Will' has earned her the label of the most influential war propagandist that ever lived.

However since the end of World War 2 in 1945 Riefenstahl herself has denied being involved with propagating for the Nazi's, stating that she filmed documentaries of a perfectionist nature. The effectiveness of her film in Nazi propaganda can be debated. Perhaps assessing the times and events of the Hitler era and Riefenstahl's work such as the film 'Triumph of the Will' we can get a better understanding of how effective a propagandist Leni Riefenstahl was for the National Socialist movement.

Leni Riefenstahl's claims of never intending to propagate for the Nazi's can be seen as an attempt to distance herself from the Nazi Party and their policies. She claimed that she never wanted to make a film for Hitler but some of things she says and pieces of evidence contradict her claims. Riefenstahl's association with Hitler began in 1932 at one of the Nuremburg rallies. She admitted she was impressed by Hitler stating that '...Hitler was a demonically captivating person.' It was clear that Riefenstahl was hooked with Hitler's imposing figure from the beginning. She requested a meeting with Hitler and he told her 'When we come to power you must make my films'. In her 'memoirs' published...