Thursday, January 28, 2010

82. Triumph des Willens/Triumph of the Will (1934)

Running Time: 114 minutes
Directed By: Leni Riefenstahl
Written By: Leni Riefenstahl, Walter Ruttmann
Main Cast: Adolf Hitler, Joseph Goebbels, Alfred Rosenberg, Hans Frank, Fritz Todt


I am certainly no history buff, nor have I ever claimed to be. Of course, I know the basics of the Hitler regime, the Holocaust and all of the tagic details that go along with it. But I know no more than the average man. So it was certainly an eerie feeling to be so up close and personal with this evil and terrible man, by the name of Adolf Hitler and to see the power that he held over his followers.

"Triumph of the Will" is a chronicle of the Nazi Party Congress in Nuremberg, in the year 1934. Adolf arrives by plane and is given epic sized ovations upon showing his face. Some of the scenes of this film are so amazing, to realize just how many people worshipped the ground that Hitler walked on. Nazi's and Nazi sympathizers would line the streets and salute their "Fuhrer". It's quite interesting to see Hitler speak on behalf of peace, and harp that he'll bring just that to the German people. In fact, that is one of the common themes of the film, along with the potential to return Germany as a great power in the world.

Some of the rallies are attended by thousands of spectators and they hear speeches from prominent Third Reich memebers, such as: Joseph Goebbels, Alfred Rosenberg, Fritz Todt, Hans Frank, Robert Ley, Julius Streicher and of course, Hitler.

To say that "Triumph of the Will" was a great film, is something I'm not so sure I agree with. While I will admit, it was interesting to be so up close and personal, with such an evil man and to hear the things that he'd say to his followers. This film really made me think about all the devastation that this man would go on to create and all of the lives that he'd put an end to. You say to yourself, as you're watching "Triumph of the Will"; "Well there he is, there's Hitler" and you're almost in awe of how terrible a man he is and the types of things you're feeling as he's overtaking your screen. At almost two hours, this film was able to hold my interest pretty well, but in good conscience I cannot say that I enjoyed any part of it.

RATING: 5.5/10 I feel that's a fairly decent rating for something filled with drawn out speeches, marching soldiers and celebration for the treacherous Hitler.

NEXT UP: L' Atalante...My second Jean Vigo film and the second Jean Vigo film I'll be skipping, as I cannot find it.

January 28, 2010 4:47pm


  1. AS I have said before, it seems tragic that some films go un commented on..Such a tricky this one eh? And a brave man to give such good points to a film with a black heart.
    Well done, and thank you.
    Apart from this, and 'Triumph', seen any other Leni R's films? Difficult to track down.. I have 'Heiliger Burg' (Holy Mountain), and would love to track down 'Blue light', amoungst others.
    Try and catch Ray Muller's 'The wonderful, horrible life of L.R...", Circa 1993 to put her in context, including tantalizing clips from her 'mountain film' era.
    I've also got a superb book , 'A portrait of L.R.' by Audry Salkeld, strongly recomended to learn more of just how 'Triumph' and 'Olympia' were made.
    Would anyone else like to pick up on this topic - Leni Riefenstahl, monster or artist? (I do't know the answer to that by the way)

  2. I'll give my two cents...Reifenstahl = artist, who happens to sympathize with monsters. Olympia is one of the most artistic films I've ever seen and it's a documentary...a type of film that usually has art as it's last requirement. Have not seen anymore Reifenstahl work, but would love to sometime.

  3. Having read up about her quite a lot, I'm quite strongly on the 'artist' side. Whilst not 100% convinced by some of her self-defence arguments, she 'did her job'
    Photos and clips exist - candid ones, not staged - of her reacting in horror to some of the things she saw. I believe her when she said she was not a Nazi,.. but she did share some of the romantic aspects the Nazis adapted. See her later African tribal peoples films to reveal she did believe in 'The body beautiful', and physical elitism. She had, I think, fascitic corners to her soul, but nothing more. Her sensative artist side would have been repeled by the racism. OK, so she chose to ignoe, chose not to see things. True. Many others chose to see, and stood up, died, or fled to fight abroard, and she didn't... but
    OK, stil not 100% with my own argument here..


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