by Andres Veiel

A captivating insight into the private estate of Leni Riefenstahl, who became world-famous with her Nazi propaganda film "Triumph of the Will" but kept denying any closer ties to the regime.

Andres Veiel uncovers an estate of 700 boxes of film, letters and documents that Leni Riefenstahl had left behind after her death in 2003. Starting with Leni Riefenstahl's beginnings as a celebrated actress in the 1930s, the film delineates how her initial encounters with Hitler and Goebbels propelled her to become the Reich's preeminent filmmaker. Her propaganda film “Triumph of the Will” about the 1934 Nazi Party rally in Nuremberg and “Olympia”, about the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin are world-famous works, deriving from her close, multi-year collaboration with the party's leaders. Hitherto unseen private films, personal photos and intimate documents combined with Video recordings of Riefenstahl's memorable appearances on German and international TV-shows from the 1960s until her death in 2003 show an artist endeavoring to disassociate the striking aesthetics she crafted from the ideology of the Nazis. Andres Veiel lets us investigate ourselves her lies, incantations and slander, elevating the discourse to a universal and timeless inquiry of self-portrayal and external perception within the media.

Genre / Language
Documentary / German, English
Original title
directed by
director of photography
Toby Cornish
screenplay by
Andres Veiel
produced by
Vincent Productions in coproduction with WDR, NDR, BR, SWR and rbb
  • Leni Riefenstahl