Films Directed by Leni Riefenstahl
TRIUMPH DES WILLENS (1935)
Adolf Hitler and Leni Riefenstahl conferring on rally details in the Luitpoldhain arena, Nuremberg
Seeking an artistic vision to capture the essence of the yearly Party Rally, Hitler turns to Leni Riefenstahl. Impressed by her screen identity, her artistic abilities as a dancer, actress and director, Hitler sees a chance to utilize the film medium to great advantage. The film represents (in days before television) an opportunity for the German people to get their first close look at the Fuhrer. Likewise, the largesse of the Nazi movement and "excitement of our political life" are hoped to be captured and projected through the power of the cinematic image.
Riefenstahl however, is reluctant and hopes to be excused from the assignment.
Riefenstahl and camera crew dolly back to capture parade formation. TRIUMPH DES WILLENS
Riefenstahl's reluctance was partially based on her own desire to move forward on feature films. This due to the success of her directorial debut, Das Blaue Licht. Additionally, she was still licking her wounds following her negative experience on the Nazi political documentary Sieg des Glaubens . That film's production fell victim to Nazi infighting and deliberate obstruction. Riefenstahl's attempts to control filming was not warmly received it seems. Sieg was an awkward effort, Riefenstahl stating that she was less than satisfied with the result.
Hitler promised that with the new film, she would have the complete cooperation of the party, the Propaganda Ministry and his own personal support.
Poster from 1934 NSDAP Reichsparteig rally