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Leni Riefenstahl

Year 12 Modern History

Kristy Starling

on 26 April 2016

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Transcript of Leni Riefenstahl

Leni Riefenstahl
Blue Light
Blue Light
A modern couple arrive in the village and show interest in the story of Junta
Junta is a half-wild mountain girl whose odd behavior has led to her being shunned from the village
During a full moon a mysterious blue light shrines from the sumit of a nearby mountain
Many men had died climbing up to work out the mystery of the light; on;y Junta is able to do it. Only she is pure enough of heart
Junta knows the secret and the village believe she might be a witch. She is ostracised from the village
A Viennese painter called Vigo meets Junta, he falls in love with her, despite the language problems. He follows her to the secret grotto from which the light emanates and learns her secret.
He shares her secret with the villages
The villages find their way to the grotto taking all the blue crystals
Junta returns and finds the crystals are missing. Now denied the light she falls to her death. Vigo finds her body knowing he was the cause of her death
Rise of Hitler and the Nazi Party

Overview: The Weimar Republic 1919-1933
November 1918
Germany Surrenders
November 1923
Munich Putsch
July 1921
Hitler becomes leader of the Nazi Party
November 1924
Release from prison
June 1929
Young Plan
Hitler is in hospital suffering temporary blindness due to a gas attack
Hitler's oratory wins many supporters; he sets up a para-military group, the SA (stormtroopers)
Hitler tries to forcibly seize power. The attempt is a laughable failure and he is sentenced to five years in prison. However, he gains national prominence.
Hitler serves nine months in gaol, writes "Mein Kampf". On his release he reestablishes the Nazi Party.
The Nazis make few political gains.
1928- 2.6% of vote
Hitler consolidates his role within the party and stages propaganda displays dominated by his oratory.
Aimed at reducing reparation payments the Young Plan is accepted by the government. Hitler is invited to join a right-wing campaign against the plan. It brings him into contact with business and military leaders
October 1929
The Depression
March 1932
Presidential election
September 1930
Reichstag election
April 1932
Prussian State election
Reichstag election
January 1933
The Wall Street Crash in the US triggers a world wide depression. Germany suffers more than most.
The Nazis gain 107 seats and 18.3% of the vote to become the second biggest party in the Reichstag.
Hitler runs for the office of president. He stands against President Hindenburg in the second round of voting. He fails to win but has gained 36.8% of the national vote
The Nazis gain 36.3% of the vote
July 1932
November 1932- Reichstag election
The Nazis win 230 seats and 37.3% of the vote. The Nazis are now the strongest party in the Reichstag
The Nazis loose 34 seats and two million votes
Hitler agrees to a backroom deal which will see him as chancellor, Franz von Papen as Vice-Chancellor and three Nazis in a cabinet of eleven.
30/1: Hitler is now able to begin his move for total power
1933 meeting with Hitler at Wilmershaven
Victory of Faith, Olympia and Triumph of the Will
Leni Riefenstahl was commissioned by Hitler to produce various "documentaries" for Hitler and the Nazi Party.
Victory of Faith was the first film she was commissioned to direct for Hitler and the Nazi Party.
Victory of Faith
1. Audrey Salkeld: A Portrait of Leni Riefenstahl
Not only does the film making include amateurish footage, flaws are thrown up in the staging of the rally. As Muller's commentary points out, the Nazis had not yet learned to march like Nazis.

2. Rainer Rother: Leni Riefenstahl- The Seduction of Genius
...the audience was defined as the 'people as a whole' for the first time. Just as the PArty ahd become the state, the nation in its entirety had entered Hitler's service.'
Steven Bach: Leni: The Life and Work of Leni Riefenstahl
Even Hitler is photographed unevenly, looming heroically on some occasions and, on others, looking like a thick-waisted middle-aged man nervously combing windblown air with his fingers as the elements ruffle the ritual
Artistic technique
Leni Riefenstahl’s technical and artistic ability was on full display in the making of “Triumph of the Will”. She was not just the director of the film; she had become an auteur. This was “her” film, she was the author! She pioneered many techniques which would be taken up by others.

Artistic Technique
- Use of 32 camera operators, some of them on roller skates
- A lift was fitted to the flagpole overlooking the main parade ground
over 120 000m of film were shot
Leni was still editing the film until just hours before the premier
- Use of made bridges, ramps, cranes, circular tracks, towers to position cameras
- Wide range of camera angles
- if necessary some scenes were reshot
Audrey Salkeld
"She may not have set out to glorify Hitler...but her feelings for him at the time were so worshipful that she could portray him only through the shining eyes of admiration...the Fuhrer represented (Germany's saviour)...This is what she filmed."
' a Celluliod exposition of the Fuhrer cult'
Steven Bach
Ban on Jews in the film industry

The Nazi Party placed restrictions on Jews in the German film Industry. Jews were forbidden from becoming members of the Reichsfilmkammer and many well-known filmmakers and actors including Marlene Dietrich, F.W. Murnau and Fritz Lang emigrated.

Riefenstahl had a close working relationship with many Jews in the film industry. Two men in particular, Balazs and Sokol, had assisted Riefenstahl in making The Blue Light. Leni claimed to have been disturbed by the departure of Balazs and other Jewish workers but didn’t see their persecution as a reason to avoid making films under the Nazi regime herself. When The Blue Light was re-released in 1937 Jews who had worked on the film were taken out of the credits.
Berlin Olympiad
Riefenstahl's film Olympia was considered by many people to be the greatest sports documentary film ever made. Her film still sets the standards today. "Olympia" is four hours long and comprises of two films: "Festival of the People" and Festival of Beauty." It premiered on 20 April 1938, Hitler's birthday.
Refer to the pages from Ms Starling regarding H.S.C questions and historians have their say!
Choose ONE past paper and answer BOTH questions on Leni Riefenstahl! Ms Starling will give you the due date.
Full transcript