Two more reasons:
1. She has been quite talented as a filmmaker and photographer, subject
2. Because of that talent, her career impinges on a number of issues
that are less complex in the cases of more mediocre (if more vicious and
politically influential) filmmakers:
Aestheticism vs.(?) political commitment
Whether there is a "facsist aesthetic"
Abstracting an ideal image of the human (male?) body
One might compare the range of reactions of reviewers to the recent show
of early works by that other, far less talented but much more
influential, artist--Adolf Hitler!
"Only connect" --E.M. Forster
Donald F. Larsson
Department of English, AH 230
Minnesota State U, Mankato (56001
[log in to unmask]
From: Leo Enticknap [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Monday, August 26, 2002 2:38 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Reply: leni riefenstahl turns 100 today
Why does Riefenstahl continue to receive so much critical and
historiographical attention when there are many other Nazi directors who
did a lot more damage? I think most people would conclude that
was quite a nasty Nazi, but there were some far nastier ones:
relating to (for example) Veit Harlan, Fritz Hippler, Wolfgang
and Karl Ritter do not attract any comment, though the films these
were responsible for did far more damage than any of Riefenstahl's.
Some possible reasons:
1. She's still alive.
2. She's a woman.
3. She had close relationships with a number of senior Nazis, and is
alleged to have had an affair with Hitler (as Robert Harris commented in
his book on the Hitler diaries fiasco, 'swastikas sell').
4. 'Triumph des Willens' and 'Olympische Spiele' were shown in Western
Europe and the US at the time of their initial release, but many of the
most notorious Nazi fiction films weren't 'discovered' until after the
5. She continues to take an active interest in the exploitation of her
films from the Nazi period, and aggressively pursues legal action
her detractors whenever she can.
Dr. Leo Enticknap
Director, Northern Region Film and Television Archive
School of Arts and Media
University of Teesside
Middlesbrough TS1 3BA
Tel. +44-(0)1642 384022
Fax. +44-(0)1642 384099
Brainfryer: +44-(0)7710 417383
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