Jacques De Clercq

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The Wonderful, Horrible Life Of Leni Riefenstahl Review


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An exhaustive portrait of Nazi-era filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl (best known for directing what some call the best propaganda film ever, Triumph of the Will), this 3 1/4-hour documentary is as daunting a film as her own 4-hour long Olympia, which chronicled the 1936 Olympic games in Germany.

At the heart of The Wonderful, Horrible Life of Leni Riefenstahl is the question of whether she was a Nazi, as her detractors claim, or whether she was the victim of society -- a naive, young girl who made Triumph on assignment, and simply did a very good job of it. The film does not judge her, and Riefenstahl (90 years old during the time of the production of this movie) is genuine in her protest. But has the passage of 50-plus years simply rewritten history in her mind? You'll have to judge for yourself.

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Jacques De Clercq

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