Reviews

The Wonderful Horrible Life Of Leni Riefenstahl

4

Which is it? Ray Muller's three-hour 1993 documentary offers evidence to support both adjectives, approaching its subject "without preconceptions" and letting viewers form their own judgement on this "legend with many faces".

A year on from her death, Hitler's propagandist remains a troubling figure: a mistress of her craft who used it to promote the 20th century's most pernicious evil. Interviews with the then 90 year old find her volatile and unrepentant, bossing Muller's cameraman and stubbornly refusing to accept any blame for the Nazis' atrocities.

Clips from Triumph Of The Will, her lavish record of Adolf's 1934 rally at Nuremberg, and Olympia, her epic film on the 1936 Berlin Olympics, reveal Leni to be a cinematic visionary years ahead of her time. Still, that won't mean much to the gypsies sent back to the death camps after she used them as extras.

Film Details

  • tbc
  • UK Theatrical Release Date: July 1st 2004