Films Directed by Leni Riefenstahl
TRIUMPH DES WILLENS (1935)
Advertising art for release of Triumph des Willens, 1935
"Fraulein Riefenstahl...you can and will do this project.
The Party will exert no influence on you.
I have discussed this with Dr. Goebbels."
Adolf Hitler conferring with Riefenstahl on her appointment to direct Triumph des Willens.
Riefenstahl was primarily concerned over her own political naiveté. How would she be able to discern what was important, what personages must be on film, whether or not she would be hindered. Joseph Goebbels resented her direct access to Hitler and her willingness to use that relationship to thwart his efforts to control her. She knew that there would be opposition at Nuremberg, Hitler's assurances notwithstanding.
Once she committed to the project, Riefenstahl immediately set about obtaining her cameramen and crew. Many plans on shooting were discussed in meetings set up to firmly structure the project. Riefenstahl's goal was to not repeat the hesitant look of the previous Party film and to achieve a look not typical of newsreel documentaries.
Original documents on the film credits note the participation of no less than 18 cinematographers and as many assistant camera operators. Many of these artist Riefenstahl had worked with before and would utilize again in future projects. Riefenstahl consulted directly with architect Albert Speer who orchestrated the events she would film.