Triumph of the Will [DVD]
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A unique insight into the Nazi propaganda machine. Triumph of the Will, also known as Triumph des Willens, is the legendary propaganda documentary of the Third Reich s 1934 Nuremberg Party Rally.
Commissioned by Hitler in 1934 and directed by Leni Riefenstahl, this documentary covers the events of the Sixth Nuremberg Party Congress. The original intention was to document the early days of the NSDAP, so future generations could look back and see how the Third Reich began. In reality, Triumph of the Will shows historians how the Nazi state drew in the masses through propaganda and how Adolf Hitler had a unique and terrifying ability to entice crowds to his beliefs by the sheer power of his words.
Released in 1935, the film rapidly became one of the better known examples of propaganda in cinematic history.
Riefenstahl s techniques, such as moving cameras, the use of telephoto lenses to create a distorted perspective, aerial photography and a revolutionary approach to the use of music and cinematography, have earned Triumph of the Will recognition as one of the greatest films in history. Riefenstahl won several awards, not only in Germany but also in the United States, France, Sweden, and other countries.
The film was popular in the Third Reich and elsewhere, and has continued to influence movies, documentaries, and commercials to this day, even as it raises the question over the dividing line between art and morality.
Featuring a cast of thousands, including Adolf Hitler, Himmler, Goebbels, Hess, Goering and other top party officials, this film perhaps more than any other demonstrates the frightening reality that was the Nazi Party and the dangers that the future held for the rest of Europe.
About the Director
Leni Riefenstahl's show-biz experience began with an experiment: she wanted to know what it felt like to dance on the stage. Success as a dancer gave way to film acting when she attracted the attention of film director Arnold Fanck, subsequently starring in some of his mountaineering pictures. With Fanck as her mentor, Riefenstahl began directing films. Her penchant for artistic work earned her acclaim and awards for her films across Europe. It was her work on Triumph of the Will (1935), a documentary commissioned by the Nazi government about Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich, that would come back to haunt her after the atrocities of World War II. Despite her protests to the contrary, Riefenstahl was considered an intricate part of the Third Reich's propaganda machine. Condemned by the international community, she did not make another movie for over 50 years. --This text refers to an alternate DVD edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
If you have any interest in the history of cinema and have never seen this film, you need to. Riefenstahl's clever cinematic techniques include combining close-up details of the faces of ordinary participants juxtaposed with mass marching formations and stirring martial music, rostrum speeches, long scenes of ecstatic crowds which a less courageous film maker would have shortened, and camera perspectives from the air, from street level and angled upwards from a child's-eye view. The end-result is an engrossing and extremely powerful film of a single event, without one word of voiceover commentary.
Riefenstahl succeeds in communicating the faultless organization of mass pageantry. The spell builds relentlessly, though after 90 minutes the modern viewer is likely to be mesmerized by yet another band of goose-stepping men marching in faultless precision in dazzling uniforms, filmed in meticulous detail.
Unfortunately the February 2014 release from Go Entertain (ASIN: B00H87DYWO with a predominantly grey image of Hitler with arms folded on the DVD case) is not the best version of this film. It's a poor quality, grainy old print with bad sound, often cropped top and bottom, left and right at the same time - even the opening titles are cropped to an annoying degree so you can't read the words. The subtitles are only in English, and you can't turn them off. They are in white print, often unreadable against the light background of the film.Read more ›
Better value by far to buy the cheaper priced article that is higher quality at the Amazon link below.