• Five lives of Leni Riefenstahl


The name of Leni Riefenstahl (1902-2003) for nearly 70 years is the most ambivalent in the world. During his long life is one of the brightest representatives of the last century is quite learned and hatred, and worship. Excellent dancer with a typical Aryan looks, talented actress (in Germany it was even rival Marlene Dietrich on the screen), the cult documentary filmmaker (her film “Olympia” about the Olympic Games held in Germany in 1936, one of the ten best documentaries of all times), unsurpassed photographer, unique master underwater filming (ID diver she received at age 70, entering the Guinness Book of Records). Retrospectives of films of Leni Riefenstahl and her photographic exhibition was a huge success in many countries. For his famous film “Triumph of the Will” (1934) and “Olympia” (1938) she was forced to defend life.
“Because of the film” Triumph of the Will, “I went through 50 trials, 2 years spent in a psychiatric hospital. Accused me that I was his film actually helped the Nazis come to power in Germany. But I never involved in politics. I do all my Life belongs to art. in everything I did, including in his films, I wanted to find an interesting twist, to create an unforgettable artistic image. I am not a politician, I am – an artist. “
Leni – unusually strong and solid identity. It always remains the same independent, fearless and proud, like her character from the “mountain” films. Indomitable will and unquenchable zest for life have helped her to become the winner of all adversity. At every turn of fate, at every rise, it meets the most dignified way – a new creative person.
Leni Riefenstahl began her career by taking lessons mime and ballet, then performing and stage choreographer own program. In Prague, during the performance, it hurts his knee, and she has to take a break at work.
Arnold’s film Funk “Mountain of Destiny” (1924) defines a new turn in her life. Young beauty like the director, well-known productions of “mountain” films. The action film was in the mountains, and soon Leni Riefenstahl without insurance climbed over rocks and mountains. One day instead of the promised snow flakes (“The White Hell of Piz-Pal”, 1929), it has covered a real avalanche. Several weeks bruised, she was ready to conquer new space. Leni soon became involved directing. The film “The Blue Light”, which she shot in 1932, was a great success in Europe and the U.S.. In addition, the Leni Riefenstahl gets known worldwide as the only woman at the same time serving as a producer, director and leading lady. Lenny works exclusively on location.
“… And I played this girl Yuntu who was believed to witch it was that I played myself. Yuntu loved and hated. With me it was the same thing – I loved and hated. Yount lost his ideal in the blink of the crystal – and just as I lost my ideals at the end of that terrible war. this film, I did predict their fate. “
In large-scale film “SOS, iceberg” 1933 Leni Riefenstahl played a fearless polar pilots. Superman, conquering mountains, ascending over the masses – this is the image that is so admired Hitler. It was so he wanted to be.
In turn, Leni 1932 Hitler hears speech at the Berlin Sports Palace. Its expression (no wonder Hitler above all put oratory), and her words made such a strong impression that she wrote him a letter, followed by their meeting. At the insistence of the Fuhrer she takes her look bad on the documentary “The victory of faith.” And when Hitler offers and insists that it was she who shot another documentary about the Nuremberg Nazi Party Congress, Lenny initially refuses, but then agrees to the same and decided to realize itself in an unusual genre for her documentary.
Leni and her team experimented with new techniques of shooting and look for unusual perspectives (first began using a moving camera operators filmed on roller skates), many of its techniques have been widely used in the documentary. The director did not try to reproduce the chronological sequence of events, its purpose was to capture the atmosphere, the mood, the inner rhythm going, creating expressive art image. Riefenstahl herself in the party never took place. In 1937, for the “Triumph of the Will,” Leni was at a film festival in Paris gold medal.
“At the time we thought that one of the messages was peace. This idea runs through the whole film. Other policy objectives are not mentioned. There is not a word about anti-Semitism and racial theory. Only message” Triumph of the Will “- is the work and the world. So I never thought that I did something wrong. Whether this movie harmful, the French never would have given him the gold medal in the two years before the war … Before the war, he was given all the international awards … But after the war it was banned, because I thought it propaganda. battered just slap me. “
In 1935, Professor Dr. Carl Diem, and the International Olympic Committee have proposed to make a film about Leni XI Olympic Games, which were held for the first time in Germany in 1936. Lenny initially hesitant because they do not want any more to shoot a documentary film, but then it carries the idea of ​​art and reliably transferred to film the beauty of sports. Over the objections of sports officials, at the urging of Leni stadium dug six wells of which were filmed exclusive footage, including the skyline. In training athletes attached to his little camera in metal baskets by themselves and they are included. To hide the noise from the camera operators have come up with special sound-absorbing liners. For the filming of a moving camera were laid tracks and rails, for example, around the mesh that separates the hammer thrower. Most events are filmed at their accomplishments, and only some were staged later. The most difficult scenes, such as a contest of swimmers at the finish, recorded during training and subsequently mounted with the original soundtrack performances. For two years, Lenny has watched, organizes, cuts and glues the film. Of the 200 hours of raw material Leni mounts a two-part picture. During installation it is visited by Goebbels, he demands to remove footage of black athletes performances and the winner of many competitions Jesse Owens. Leni refuses, as subsequently refused the request of French distributors to remove some of the shots with Hitler: such requirements violated its author’s vision.
Both series premiere of “Olympia” – “Celebration of Nations” and “Festival of Beauty” – was held on April 20, Hitler’s birthday, the palace UFA “Am Zoo” in Berlin. Then Lenny successfully demonstrates his film in Vienna, Grace, Paris, Brussels, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Helsinki, Oslo, Venice, Rome and Bucharest. Lenny then went to America.
On his return to Europe in February, she performed in Paris on the theme “Do movie art?” Which argues that the main evaluation criteria are the quality of the film and the way the image of motion.
In September 1939, Leni Riefenstahl and went to Poland as a war reporter shoot weekly newsreels. The day after his arrival, Leni watches the massacre of civilians by German soldiers arrange the funeral of their comrades killed by Polish partisans. Laziness in terror stops the activity of the military reporter. She returned to Germany and begin shooting “Lowlands” (feature film, where she played the role of Martha gypsy). “Arathi” she finishes mounting because of the war and the arrests in 1954, the year.
After the Second World War, Lenin lost the opportunity to make films in his native country.
One day, sleepless night in 1955, she read “The Green Hills of Africa,” by Ernest Hemingway, and in the morning she felt an irresistible desire to be there come what may. Black continent was drawn to her realm of freedom where you can be happy, like Hemingway.
In 1956, Lenin decided to go to Africa one. By this time she had already turned 54. She wants to make a documentary about Africa, but it is persecuted trouble with the footage.
“In 1962, I opened the Nuba tribe. Tribe has barely 10,000 people, but it is a separate linguistic communities, completely cut off from the outside world and protected from the influence of civilization. Those were the happiest people I have ever met. Their laughter unwittingly possessed to them, and they were laughing incessantly. They were kind, they did not have bad thoughts, and they were not aware of theft or murder. They lived in perfect harmony with nature. I call them “people from another planet.” They took me to their environment and loved me as much as I love them. I learned their language, and the time that I spent with them, – the happiest days of my life. “
Nubian Leni Riefenstahl photos were first published in 1966 in the album “African kingdom” of American publishing “Time and Life Books.” Soon. In subsequent years, they gain immense popularity and interest in different parts of the world. African album Lenny amended and reissued in America, England, France, Italy and Japan.
In 1972, Lenin went to Mombasa and Malindi, where taking an exam in diving, changing the date of birth from 1902 to 1922. When at a party after the exam she reveals her secret – all shocked, and she becomes the hero of the day. Sudanese President Gaafar Mohammed al-Numeira gives her Sudanese citizenship in recognition of her services to the Sudan. Leni Riefenstahl – the first foreign woman so honored.
In subsequent years, Lenny performs more than two thousand and diving to its centenary released film “The impression under water.”
In the main part of the exhibition consists of photographs dedicated to the Nuba tribes that do not support virtually no relationship with the outside world. Shows photographs of the Nubian struggle, religious ceremonies, dance festivals, battle paintings on the bodies of young men, women carved tattoos and everyday life Nubians, and frames the most picturesque corners of the underwater world and its exotic inhabitants. More than 100 photographs and biographical material about the life of Leni Riefenstahl also placed in the halls of the gallery. The exhibition features film “Triumph of the Will” and “Olympia”, write the name of Leni Riefenstahl in the history of the world, and the film Ray Muller’s “The Beautiful and the horrible life of Leni Riefenstahl.”

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