LENI RIEFENSTAHL Biography - Theater, Opera and Movie personalities


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Name: Helene Berta Amalie Riefenstahl                                                 
Born: 22 August 1902 Berlin, Germany                                                   
Died: 8 September 2003 Pöcking, Germany                                               
Helene Bertha Amalie "Leni" Riefenstahl (August 22, 1902 – September 8, 2003)       
was a German film director, dancer and actress widely noted for her aesthetics         
and innovations as a filmmaker. Her most famous film was Triumph des Willens (Triumph 
of the Will), a propaganda film made at the 1934 Nuremberg congress of the Nazi       
Party. Riefenstahl's prominence in the Third Reich along with her personal             
friendships with Adolf Hitler and Joseph Goebbels thwarted her film career             
following Germany's defeat in World War II, after which she was arrested but           
never convicted of war crimes.                                                         
The propaganda value of her films made during the 1930s repels most commentators       
but many film histories cite the aesthetics as outstanding. After her                 
death the Associated Press described Riefenstahl as an "acclaimed pioneer of           
film and photographic techniques." Der Tagesspiegel newspaper in Berlin noted,         
"Leni Riefenstahl conquered new ground in the cinema." The BBC said her               
documentaries "were hailed as groundbreaking film-making, pioneering techniques       
involving cranes, tracking rails, and many cameras working at the same time."         
Reviewer Gary Morris called Riefenstahl "an artist of unparalleled gifts, a           
woman in an industry dominated by men, one of the great formalists of the cinema       
on a par with Eisenstein or Welles." Riefenstahl later published her still             
photography of the Nuba tribes in Africa and made films of marine life.