Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Wonderful, Horrible Life of Leni Riefenstahl (1993)

Director: Ray Muller. 180 min. France/UK/Germany/Belgium. Documentary.

Riefenstahl, the greatest female director ever, was banned from making films for half a century in Europe, for making one of the best documentaries ever (Triumph of the Will) at the service of the Nazis. Later known for her blatant lies in her own defense (demonstrated here with great expertise by showing her contradicting behind-the-scenes personality), at age 90, she does make a near-convincing case of separating superb art from political propaganda. But is art completely independent from its content? You be the judge. This would have benefited from cutting out a full hour, and therefore gets a Soso.

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