Leni Riefenstahl Essay

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Leni Riefenstahl’s rise to prominence is multifaceted and her background, context and circumstances all contributed significantly to her notoriety. She is regarded as one of the most controversial and influential figures in the world of cinematography, and due to the growth of the film industry in Germany during the Weimer Republic, the continual influence of the expressionistic and nationalistic genre and the auspicious event that kindled her fascination with filmmaking, she became a ‘rising star’.
Leni Riefenstahl was born on the 22nd of August 1902 in Berlin, to Alfred Riefenstahl, a plumber, and his wife Bertha Scherlach, a seamstress. She grew up in Wedding, a working class suburb on the edge of Berlin, where the family led a comfortable
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During the 1920’s and 1930’s, the German film industry thrived under the Weimer Republic and was one of the biggest and most successful in Europe. It was known as the ‘Golden Age’ in cinema and with the benefit of the Reich Film Act, which provided tax assistance to film companies, hundreds of films were produced. It was the experimental age of film with new technologies and techniques in lighting, camera angles and shot composition and due to the invention of sound, German film production came to rival that of Hollywood in both output and artistic merit. The German film industry saw international recognition due to their revolutionary expressionistic films that set aside reality and brought the audience physical representations of emotion and theme. The most notable film that fully exemplified this genre was, “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari”, produced by one of the most successful film studios in Germany, Ufa, which also rendered the prominent film “Metropolis”, directed by Fritz Lang, and Leni Riefenstahl’s first film, “Ways to Strength and Beauty”. However it was the popularity of the Alpine film genre and the key aspects of German nationalism in Arnold Frank’s films that ultimately led to Leni Riefenstahl’s
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