Biography

Helene Bertha Amalie "Leni" Riefenstahl (22 August 1902 – 8 September 2003) was a German film director, actress and dancer widely noted for her aesthetics and innovations as a filmmaker. Her most famous film was Triumph des Willens (Triumph of the Will), made at the 1934 Nuremberg congress of the Nazi Party. Riefenstahl's prominence in the Third Reich along with her personal friendship with Adolf Hitler thwarted her film career following Germany's defeat in World War II, after which she was arrested but released without any charges.

Triumph of the Will gave Riefenstahl instant and lasting international fame, as well as infamy. Although she directed only eight films, just two of which received significant coverage outside of Germany, Riefenstahl was widely known all her life. The propaganda value of her films made during the 1930s repels most modern commentators but many film histories cite the aesthetics as outstanding. The Economist wrote that Triumph of the Will "sealed her reputation as the greatest female filmmaker of the 20th century".

In the 1970s Riefenstahl published her still photography of the Nuba tribes in Sudan in several books such as The Last of the Nuba. She was active up until her death and also published marine life stills and released the marine-based film Impressionen unter Wasser in 2002.

After her death, the Associated Press described Riefenstahl as an "acclaimed pioneer of film and photographic techniques". Der Tagesspiegel newspaper in Berlin noted, "Leni Riefenstahl conquered new ground in the cinema". The BBC said her documentaries "were hailed as groundbreaking film-making, pioneering techniques involving cranes, tracking rails, and many cameras working at the same time".

Description above from the Wikipedia article Leni Riefenstahl, licensed under CC-BY-SA, full list of contributors on Wikipedia.

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Helene Bertha Amalie "Leni" Riefenstahl (22 August 1902 – 8 September 2003) was a German film director, actress and dancer widely noted for her aesthetics and innovations as a filmmaker. Her most famous film was Triumph des Willens (Triumph of the Will), made at the 1934 Nuremberg congress of the Nazi Party. Riefenstahl's prominence in the Third Reich along with her personal friendship with Adolf Hitler thwarted her film career following Germany's defeat in World War II, after which she was arrested but released without any charges.

Triumph of the Will gave Riefenstahl instant and lasting international fame, as well as infamy. Although she directed only eight films, just two of which received significant coverage outside of Germany, Riefenstahl was widely known all her life. The propaganda value of her films made during the 1930s repels most modern commentators but many film histories cite the aesthetics as outstanding. The Economist wrote that Triumph of the Will "sealed her reputation as the greatest female filmmaker of the 20th century".

In the 1970s Riefenstahl published her still photography of the Nuba tribes in Sudan in several books such as The Last of the Nuba. She was active up until her death and also published marine life stills and released the marine-based film Impressionen unter Wasser in 2002.

After her death, the Associated Press described Riefenstahl as an "acclaimed pioneer of film and photographic techniques". Der Tagesspiegel newspaper in Berlin noted, "Leni Riefenstahl conquered new ground in the cinema". The BBC said her documentaries "were hailed as groundbreaking film-making, pioneering techniques involving cranes, tracking rails, and many cameras working at the same time".

Description above from the Wikipedia article Leni Riefenstahl, licensed under CC-BY-SA, full list of contributors on Wikipedia.

Personal Info

Gender Female

Known Credits 23

Birthday 1902-08-22

Day of Death 2003-09-08

Place of Birth Berlin, German Empire

Official Site -

Also Known As

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Acting TV ShowsMovies

2003 Leni Riefenstahl: Her Dream of Africa
2002 Underwater Impressions
2002 From Stag Beetle to Swastika
1997 Birth of a Nation as Herself
1995 The Night of the Filmmakers as Herself
1993 The Wonderful, Horrible Life of Leni Riefenstahl as Herself
1977 Games of the XXI Olympiad as Herself - Spectator
1954 Lowlands as Martha
1938 Olympia Part One: Festival of the Nations as herself
1934 S.O.S. Iceberg as Ellen Lawrence
1933 S.O.S. Iceberg as Hella Lorenz
1932 The Blue Light as Junta
1931 White Ecstasy as Leni
1930 Storm Over Mont Blanc as Hella Armstrong
1929 White Hell of Pitz Palu as Maria Maioni
1927 The Big Jump as Gita
1926 The Holy Mountain as Diotima
1925 Ways to Strength and Beauty

Directing

2002 Underwater ImpressionsDirector
1954 LowlandsDirector
1938 Olympia Part Two: Festival of BeautyDirector
1938 Olympia Part One: Festival of the NationsDirector
1935 Day of Freedom - Our Armed ForcesDirector
1935 Triumph of the WillDirector
1933 Victory of the FaithDirector
1932 The Blue LightDirector

Writing

2002 Underwater ImpressionsWriter
1954 LowlandsScreenplay
1941 Hoch der Lambeth ValkIdea
1938 Olympia Part Two: Festival of BeautyScreenplay
1938 Olympia Part One: Festival of the NationsScreenplay
1935 Triumph of the WillScreenplay
1932 The Blue LightStory

Production

1954 LowlandsProducer
1938 Olympia Part Two: Festival of BeautyProducer
1938 Olympia Part One: Festival of the NationsProducer
1935 Triumph of the WillProducer
1932 The Blue LightProducer

Editing

1954 LowlandsEditor
1938 Olympia Part Two: Festival of BeautyEditor
1938 Olympia Part One: Festival of the NationsEditor
1935 Triumph of the WillEditor
1932 The Blue LightEditor

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