Riefenstahl, Leni

Portrait
Born: Aug 22, 1902 AD
Died: 2003 AD, at 101 years of age.

Nationality: German
Categories: Actresses, Director


1902 – She was born Helene Bertha Amalie "Leni" Riefnstahl on the 22nd day of August this year in the Wedding district of Berlin, she began her career as a self-styled and well-known interpretive dancer.

 

1932 – She heard Adolf Hitler speak at a rally in this year and was mesmerized by his powers as a public speaker. Upon meeting her, Hitler himself a would-be artist, saw the chance to hire a visionary who could create the image of a strong, proud Wagnerian Germany radiating beauty, power, strength, and defiance, an image he could sell to the world.

 

1933 - She directed the short film Der Sieg des Glaubens (Victory of Faith), an hour-long feature about the Nazi party rally at Nuremberg in this year. . Her last acting role before moving to directing was in this year’s film SOS Eisberg (U.S. title SOS Iceberg); this film was released on DVD in the U.S. in November 2005.

 

1934 – She directed the movie “Triumph of the Will”, as she was personally asked by Hitler to do this film for him.

 

1935 - Triumph of the Will won many international awards as a ground-breaking example of filmmaking. She went on to make a film about the German Wehrmacht, released in this year as Tag der Freiheit (Day of Freedom).

 

1936 – She qualified as an athlete to represent Germany in cross-country skiing for the Olympics but decided to film the event instead. This material became Olympia, a film widely noted for its technical and aesthetic achievements.

 

1939 - During the Invasion of Poland, she was wearing a Waffen-SS uniform and a pistol on her belt, accompanied German soldiers in Poland. On 12 September of this year, she was present in the town of KoDskie during an execution of 30 civilians carried out in retaliation of an unspecified attack on German soldiers by "bandits".

 

1944 – She attempted to make films after the war but each attempt was met with resistance, protests, sharp criticisms and an inability to secure funding. In this year, she married Peter Jacob, whom she later divorced.

 

1960 – She took a man, Horst Kettner, who was forty years her junior. He remained her faithful companion to the end of her life. She became a photographer and was later the first to photograph rock star Mick Jagger and his wife Bianca as a couple holding hands after they were married, as they were both admirers.

 

2002 – In this year she was interviewed. She said dancing made her truly happy. After injuring a knee, she attended a viewing of a nature film about mountains, and became fascinated with the possibilities of the medium.

 

2003 – She died in her sleep on the 8th of September this year, at her home in Pöcking, Germany a few weeks after her 101st birthday. She had been suffering from cancer. She was buried in the Ostfriedhof(Eastern Cemetery) in Munich.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Page last updated: 2:39pm, 26th Apr '07
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