Assess the Contribution of Leni Riefenstahl to Her Period of National and/or International History.

633 Words Jun 8th, 2013 3 Pages
Leni Riefenstahl was one of the most revolutionary and certainly most controversial filmmakers of the early twentieth century. The lasting influence of her innovative filmmaking techniques on twentieth century cinema is undisputed by scholars throughout history, but the exact nature of her work is surrounded by ongoing controversy. Riefenstahl’s production of the feature films “Triumph of the Will” (Source 3) and “Olympia” (Source 1) have left a lasting imprint on history; these films established Riefenstahl’s influential career as a film director under the years of the Nazi regime. Although these films are attributed by scholars and critics to be Riefenstahl’s greatest achievements they are also considered to be her greatest fault, for …show more content…
When Hitler came into her life, Riefenstahl was already an accomplished actress and director. Like many Germans living in economic despair at the time, she found the Fuhrer charismatic and praised his efforts to build National Socialism, by her own words unaware of his ultimate intentions. Although Riefenstahl denied all accusations, connections with the inner circle of the Nazi Party meant she was often accused of having a romantic or sexual relationship with Hitler. Riefenstahl held that her relationship with him was purely professional. (Source 4)
Riefenstahl’s significance as a historical figure can be further seen as a powerful female pioneer. Riefenstahl excelled in a career dominated by men, which transcended Nazi Germany and impacted on an international level, questioning gender roles of the time. She was able to obtain the admiration of Hitler, who viewed her as a great artistic talent, at a time when society confined women to strict roles (Kinder, Kirsch and Kutch). Leni Riefenstahl was able to significantly impact history through challenging gender roles by becoming a female pioneer not only in her field but also in society as a whole by becoming one of the most prominent figures in a male-dominated society.
The influential career of Leni Riefenstahl has been a point of great contention amongst scholars and filmmakers over the last few decades. The legacy Riefenstahl leaves behind are her achievements and failures of her