Films Directed by Leni Riefenstahl
TRIUMPH DES WILLENS (1935)
Memorial service with Hitler flanked by Himmler and Lutze of the SA. Triumph des Willens, 1935
September 4-10, 1934, Nuremberg. The NSDAP Nazi Party Rally was executed and Riefenstahl and crew attempted to capture the events in unique ways. Some of this is done through aerial shots, crane shots and dramatic point of view angles. Her mastery of camera movement and perspective is demonstrated in framing of shots which angle upward, downward, both static and in motion, with faces and structures in shadow or relief. Riefenstahl's camera is moving in motorcades, is looking upward from a street level or provides the tremendous overhead shots from a special tower elevator approved by Speer. Her direction insured that Hitler would be a central focus. Individuals are extracted only in momentary images of the many and yet the repetitive, linear strength of the parades of masses remain in rhythmic contrast to Hitler's singular presence.
Riefenstahl lines up a shot, Triumph des Willens, 1935
Crowded by more than one million participants, the pageants of the Nazi rally included workers on the march, SA and SS troops in review, military equipment displays, and speeches by key figures of the Third Reich. Additional sequences profile comradeship, athletic games, life in the campsites, and a unified national spirit. Likewise images of static and moving symbolism (eagles, swastikas, banners , and the waves of humanity) of the Nazi party are inter cut with music ranging from Wagner to original work by Riefenstahl's frequent collaborator Herbert Windt to various NSDAP Party songs and the Horst Wessel Lied.