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Gettysburg College

2019

Film and Media Studies

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"Ein Pakt Mit Dem Teufel": Leni Riefenstahl, Triumph Of The Will, And The Nature Of Guilt, Andrew O. Burns Apr 2019

"Ein Pakt Mit Dem Teufel": Leni Riefenstahl, Triumph Of The Will, And The Nature Of Guilt, Andrew O. Burns

Student Publications

Leni Riefenstahl’s Triumph of the Will is rightly considered a massive technical achievement in the world of cinema and propaganda. However, this achievement was undertaken at the behest of the immoral, murderous regime of Nazi Germany, a regime that Riefenstahl was more than willing to work with and glorify in order to further her career. This thesis will argue that Riefenstahl’s onscreen deification of Hitler, visual representation of völkisch ideology, and use of the music of Richard Wagner make her later claims of ignorance as to the film’s ultimate meaning impossible to correlate with established facts.