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A Portrait of Leni Riefenstahl
Leni Riefenstahl, who died in 2003, will always be remembered for her film of the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin. After the war, Riefenstahl was shunned by the film industry both in Europe and America, despite a 1952 court ruling proclaiming her not guilty of supporting the Nazis in a punishable way. Winner of the Boardman Tasker Award, this is a fine and balanced study of a ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published November 1st 1997 by Random House UK
(first published 1996)
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Reading this biography was very interesting and enjoyable. Of course, Leni Riefenstahl was a woman whose life was full of gigantic events and daredevil endeavours which played at a highly visible level and, moreover, in a setting that was very controversial and, in hindsight, despicable. Still, you have to admire her enormous drive and artistic achievements. Reading this book, I concluded that she must have been the one and only real Uebermensch in the highest top level of Nazi Germany. Look at ...more
Jul 26, 2007 Vanessa rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Folks interested in film, WWII, or remarkable real people
I'd seen "The Wonderful Horrible Life of Leni Riefenstahl", and was intrigued enough to want to pick up this biography. What a fascinating read, and a fascinating woman. If you can put the Nazi connection aside for a moment (and the author paints a believable portrait of a woman who seemed more drawn to rubbing elbows with important, poweful people, than someone who subscribed to the idealogy of the Nazi party), it is difficult to not be impressed by the this woman's achievements as an artist. ...more
Perhaps not so surprising for a mountaineering writer, a large portion of Salkeld’s book is devoted to Riefenstahl’s outdoor pursuits. She translates Riefenstahl’s passion with such vigour that even those of us happiest slumped in a cinema seat will feel an urge to grapple a rock face. That isn’t to say there isn’t plenty about Riefenstahl’s film career in the book. In fact, Salkeld explores this aspect of Riefenstahl so well that entire chapters often feel like they have wandered off on a ...more