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Darling Leni.. what are your opinions on her? (1 Viewer)

angie-gee

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first of all, I think it's quite unfortunate that she is still getting persecuted for something she did 50 odd years ago.. what about the film directors of Jud Suss and The Eternal Jew? post Hitler they had very fulfilling careers with no repercussions of what they did during the Nazi period.

There is no doubt that she used her artistic skills to the best of her ability to advantage her, and I think, though she was hesitant at first to do Hitlers requests, she was an opportunist who saw the opportunity to grow as an artist and took it.

As for her photography of Nuban tribes, I think that because of Hitlers ideologies towards the body beautiful, and string fit Germans, it is just another thing to pick her up on.


until I have time to elaborate more (currently breaking from study, haha) that's my argument.

what's your opinion on her?
 

jellybelly59

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i think she played a part in glorifying a murderous regime. She could of stopped and went to America prior to 1939 - she had an opportunity to have some personal integrity but instead chose to deify someone who clearly had anti-semitic values. Of course, one might argue that i'm not looking at in context rather with hindsight any anti-semitic views were commonplace but look at Tiefland - it was commissioned by the Germans even after the Kronskie incident. She read Mein kampf so she could not have been as oblivious to the values expressed in Nazi Germany and apolitical as she suggests.

Lol if you read excerpts from Goebbels diary it tells you that she wasn't reluctant or remotely 'hesitant' to participate in the actual project. From my recollection somewhat 10 weeks before the 'Triumph of the Will' she signed on to become the director of 'Tirumph of the will' after Hitler requested it.

On the note that she is an opportunist... So many critics have said that but really she had an opportunity to renounce the nazi regime and apologise for her contribution to constructing the Fuhrer myth but she didn't. Really what kind of opportunist gives away a chance like that?

As for the directors of Jud suss and the eternal jews, most of these individuals did not have as close as a relationship to Hitler then Riefenstahl did. It's crime by association - when you're connected to the upper echelons of Nazi Germany society - you're bound to be a 'fellow-traveller'. Also, some of these directors apologised for their actions unlike Riefenstahl.

Of course, factors such as her talent and her gender/gender expectations of the time cause us to condemn her and she didn't commit any crimes - but to me she certainly seems like a moral criminal.
 
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Skizzors

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When I first started doing the subject, I really wanted to defend her but the further into it, the more I dislike her. She was so conniving and as for the Nuba, have you read what Bach says about it? I lost all sympathy for her then. Plus in the Ray Müller film when she goes back to Nuba, the scene in which she found out that her "dearest friends" were dead and then gets furious because Müller didn't capture her distress properly? It was like she felt no real emotion for them, instead just exploiting the Nuba for good publicity. That being said, I must say, I don't really understand the debate concerning fascist aesthetics in her underwater photography. It seems a bit far-fetched to me.

I guess I agree mostly with Hinton, when he said that "no artist, no matter how hard he or she might try, creates work in a vacuum. No artist ... can overlook the potential impact of their work."

So yes, I find her morally culpable for her actions, whether or not she felt it was propaganda, or was in fact just trying to "document a historic event as artistically, creatively as possible."
 

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