Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Triumph of the Will (1935)

Director: Leni Riefenstahl. Cast: Adolf Hitler, Josef Goebbels, Rudolf Hess, Heinrich Himmler. 114 min. Germany. Documentary.

The most famous film of history's most famous documentary filmmaker, Leni Riefenstahl, a cogwheel in the Nazi propaganda machine. Imagine a movie with Hitler, Goebbels, Hess and Himler as its main stars - and by "stars", I'm not being sarcastic. This skillfully-edited footage of the Third Reich's 1934 Nuremberg Party Rally literally presents Hitler as a mythological god-like figure, depicting his oratory expertise amidst an ocean of followers, and illustrating with chilling clarity how Germany fell under his spell. A haunting image of how even today the media can be used to mobilize the masses for any goal deemed necessary.

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