Leni Riefenstahl : an innovative mind

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Maloney, Chris
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BA (Hons) in Film Studies
Dublin Business School
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In this dissertation I intend to examine the relationship and influence Leni Riefenstahl had on the German film industry of the 1930s and 40s. I intend to scrutinise her talents as a director and how she became one of the most influential filmmakers of her era. I intend to do so by examining two of her most famous films 'Olympia' and 'Triumph of the will' as examples of developments in filmmaking techniques and then a further examination of 'Triumph of the Will' as an example of film being used as a political weapon and as a propaganda tool. I will attempt to illuminate the roles Riefenstahl played as both a filmmaker and a contributor to the Third Reich. As a part of this examination of her political ties to the Nazi party I will look at the fine line she walked and whether or not she was guilty of being culpable to witnessing war crimes. The objective of my work is to illustrate Leni Riefenstahl's career in terms of her contribution to national cinema and her contribution to the evolution of film-making production and content. Author keywords: Leni Riefenstahl , propaganda