Jill Hutchinson's Reviews > Leni: The Life and Work of Leni Riefenstahl

Leni by Steven Bach
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's review
Nov 29, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: biography, film-music-history
Read in December, 2009

The author pulls no punches here as he dissects the amazing life of Leni Riefenstahl, Hitler's most effective propogandist. She denied her role and involvement in the Third Reich throughout her 101 year life but one has only to read this book and see even snippets of her films to realize that she was the consummate apologist for her own behavior. Bach has done considerable research and quotes from Riefenstahl's letters and Goebbles' diary which put paid to her denials and evasions.

There is no doubt that this woman had a great talent for capturing images in a manner that had never before been seen on film. Her masterpieces, "Triumph of the Will", and "Olympia", are amazing pieces of history and Bach includes several stills from those films. The author also covers her career as an actress in the "alpine" films of the 1920s and early 30s and her sexually hedonistic life style. He paints a picture of an exceptional artist who put her talents to use for the most despotic government in world history. He is no fan of Ms. Riefenstahl but gives credit to her talent and her groundbreaking filmaking techniques. I would recommend this book to any reader who is interested in the films of Ms Riefenstahl. It recognizes her genius but also clears up any doubts you may have about her motives and her position in the Third Reich.

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11/29/2009 page 56

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message 1: by Bea (new) - added it

Bea I'm going to have to read this one! By the way, I'm most of the way through American Rose on your recommendation and am enjoying it.

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