Weitere Namen
Helene Bertha Amalie Riefenstahl (Geburtsname)
Cast, Director, Screenplay, Director of photography, Editing, Producer
Berlin Pöcking

Biography

The daughter of a journeyman locksmith initially worked as a dancer but had to quit after a knee injury. Mountain film director Arnold Fanck wrote the role of the dancer in "Der heilige Berg" ("The Sacred Mountain") for her. Riefenstahl learned to climb mountains and to ski and also played the leading roles in Fanck"s following films "Der große Sprung", "Die weiße Hölle vom Piz Palü" ("The White Hell of Pitz Palu"), "Stürme über dem Montblanc" ("Storm Over Mont Blanc"), and "Der weiße Rausch" ("Ski Chase"). In 1931/32, Riefenstahl made her debut as a director and producer with the mystical mountain fairy tale "Das blaue Licht" ("The Blue Light"). She also had the initial idea to the film and played the leading role.

After the Nazis ascended to power, Riefenstahl was hired by the NSDAP to film the party conventions in Nuremberg in 1933, in 1934, and in 1935. "Triumph des Willens" ("Triumph of the Will") is a formally exceptional representation of these mass events and of the cult of "Führer" Adolf Hitler and can be considered as paradigmatic for the Nazi"s image cultivation. The same can be said about her two-part film "Olympia" – "Fest der Völker" and "Fest der Schönheit" ("Olympia I", "Olympia II"). Until today it is a controversial topic how strongly Riefenstahl was involved ideologically and personally with the Nazis.

After the end of the war, Riefenstahl underwent several denazification trials but was termed as a "fellow traveler" and "not afflicted". However, she was not able to tie on to her former success. Instead, she became the target of media attacks that she answered with legal actions and lawsuits. Furthermore, Riefenstahl tried to qualify her involvement with the Nazis with a mixture of half-truths, prevarications, and naïve self-serving declarations.

In 1953, she finished "Tiefland" ("Lowlands"), a film that she had started shooting already in 1940. From 1956 on, she traveled repeatedly to Africa, photographed and filmed the Nuba people in Sudan, and published her photos in books and in international magazines.

At a great age, Riefenstahl learnt to scuba dive, specialized on underwater photography, and published two photo books. Her last film was the documentary film "Korallengärten – Impressionen unter Wasser" ("Underwater Impressions").

 

FILMOGRAFIE

2002
  • Cast
  • Director
  • Director of photography
  • Editing
  • Producer
1994/1995
  • Participation
1989
  • Participation
1940-1944
  • Cast
  • Director
  • Screenplay
  • Producer
1940
  • Producer
1940
  • Producer
1939/1940
  • Producer
1939/1940
  • Producer
1938/1939
  • Producer
1936-1938
  • Director
  • Script (other)
  • Editing
  • Producer
1936-1938
  • Director
  • Screenplay
  • Script (other)
  • Editing
  • Producer
1936-1938
  • Director
  • Script (other)
  • Editing
  • Producer
1935
  • Director
  • Editing
  • Producer
1934/1935
  • Director
  • Editing
  • Producer
1933
  • Director
  • Editing
1932/1933
  • Cast
1931/1932
  • Cast
  • Director
  • Screenplay
  • Editing
  • Producer
1925/1926
  • Cast
1924/1925
  • Participation