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"Without the Riefenstahls of the world in the 1930s, the Shoah might not have happened. I would consider her an unindicted co-conspirator."
--Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Associate Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, 1998.
"Yes! Leni Riefenstahl is an extraordinary filmmaker. Without question, the greatest woman director of all time (although virtually ignored in feminist film circles), she is also one of the great pictoralists of the cinema."
--Film historian Anthony Slide, 1991.
"Systematically using editing techniques and structures such as the shot/reverse shot rarely found in previous documentaries, she constructs a cult of personality around Hitler. The editing patterns turn the Führer into an object of desire, one who is looked at adoringly by the crowds that surround him. They complement and realize the speeches of party officials who proclaim, 'Hitler is Germany, the party is Hitler, thus Germany is Hitler and the party is Germany.' "
--From The Oxford History of World Cinema.
"[Triumph of the Will] is, however, unlikely to stimulate political fascism among intelligent modern viewers, if only because the falseness of its prophecy is so well known. The viewer contrasts the powerful, joyous images of the Party with the indelible images of concentration camps and war. It stands as a warning against letting aesthetically pleasing propaganda numb the rational mind."
--Linda Deutschmann, film historian, in Triumph of the Will: The Image of the Third Reich, 1991.
"The film shrieks with camera aptitude, integrated design, sense of composition, the flush of light, a feeling for martial resolve, for the shapes of crowds, for the splendor of the lone individual, the resonance of banners and trumpets and of torchlight seen through the languorous folds of a flag stirred by a summer night. Few films so illustrate the effects of camera angles, of moving shots, of editing."
--David Thomson, author of A Biographical Dictionary of Film, describing Triumph of the Will, the winner of a gold medal at the 1937 World's Fair in Paris. The film ran for at least a month in every major German city in the mid-1930s.
"A totally unique and incomparable glorification of the power and beauty of our Movement."
--Adolf Hitler, 1935.
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