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August 2002, Week 4


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Ron Leming <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Sat, 24 Aug 2002 02:47:42 -0500
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I don't want to sound like I'm supporting Leni Riefenstahl entirely. I'm
not sure the truth will ever be known.  As for there being a choice, I'm
not so sure about that. You mention Lang, Wilder and the Siodmaks, but
there's a very basic difference you're overlooking there. The examples
you mention are all men. Even today, women aren't represented all that
well in film making, though it's getting there. There may have been
other women film makers in the 40s, but I can't think of any. I'm not
THAT well educated in film, likely not as well as many on this list. But
I know what it feels like to want to do something so badly you'd very
nearly sell your soul for it. It's quite easy to look back at history
now and say this was a horrible thing. But we forget that, at the time,
many of the German people thought what was happening was a good thing
for Germany, and many didn't know about the activities of the SS and the
camps. And making the films she made, may have been, in her sight, the
only way she would be able to make films at all. And she is a good film
Even when I was in film school in UCLA 25 years ago, women in the film
school weren't taken as seriously or respected as well as the men. I
don't know if that's still true, but it wouldn't surprise me. And, I
find it reprehensible to blame anyone and everyone who didn't actively
contest and fight for what happened and hold them responsible for the
acts of others. She has always maintained that she didn't know what was
happening until it was too late. Until someone can prove, beyond a doudt
that she did know, I choose to believe her statement.
If I ever die by being buried alive in something, I hope it's something
Like boobs or chicken wings.

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