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Leni Riefenstahl Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 672 pages
  • Publisher: Picador; Reprint edition (January 15, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312119267
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312119263
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 1.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #134,340 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Filmmaker Riefenstahl's autobiography details her relationships with Nazi officials and international celebrities as well as her postwar life and travels.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

The subtitle of this book could appropriately have been "An Apologia." According to Riefenstahl, she is an apolitical, passive person who was pushed into her career as a German film actress and filmmaker of such Nazi-era classics as Triumph of the Will and Olympia. Whatever the truth, she did have a remarkable career then and subsequently achieved new fame as a talented photographer. Unfortunately, she writes in a monotonous, unemotional style that dilutes the most prominent times of her life, even her relationship with Hitler. This, coupled with the dubious reliability of her recollections, make the memoir a disappointment. Such works as David Hinton's The Films of Leni Riefenstahl (Scarecrow, 1992), Renata Berg-Pan's Leni Riefenstahl (Twayne, 1980), and Glenn Infield's Leni Riefenstahl: The Fallen Film Goddess ( LJ 10/15/76) will have to suffice until a definitive biography is written.
- Roy Liebman, California State Univ. Lib., Los Angeles
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

It was the best autobiography of a woman that I've ever read ... by far.
Mikie
It's great to read about a person that has taken so many chances and done so many things.
sauerkraut
I especially recommend the book to anyone who loves the art of film-making.
Dagmar F. Pelzer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Nariaki Imamura on November 21, 1999
Format: Paperback
I do not agree with the opinion that this memoir is merely a work of propoganda to try to salvage the author's image and legacy. One leaves this book very moved by the triumphs and tragedies of an fiercely independent woman who was willing to sacrifice everything for her passion and love of film-making. If you are the slightest bit curious about this woman, this book is absolutely essential for your library. It is endlessly fascinating and enjoyable reading.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By J. Bielawski on January 9, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For some inexplicable reason the English translation omits portions of the original. The US publisher neglected to inform the reader of this little detail - I find this practice totally unacceptable (hence 1 star).
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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Oliver Strebel on March 20, 2004
Format: Paperback
...was just using the wrong men. And it is definitely not her fault that she lived
in these times.
I also believed for a long time that Riefenstahl produced propaganda movies for
the Nazis including hate speeches and incitation to aggressive wars. But everybody
who has seen her notorious movie "Triumph of the Will" knows that there Hitler preaches:
"We want that this nation will be peace-loving but also brave, thats why you must be
peaceful". Therefore the french government awarded this movie a "Grand Prix" during
the world fair 1937 in Paris.
And seven trials, one american, two french and four german, revealed that she was
never member of any Nazi organisation. To those, who still continue bashing Leni
Riefenstahl, I just want to say that they also cannot forsee the future. And they are
also incapable of remote viewing what happens in some concentration camps hundreds of
miles away, which were, as everybody knows, not accessible to the public.
This book is as fascinating as her olympic movies. Although I like to go to bed very
early I could not stop reading before 3:00 am. During breakfast I had to continue
reading. It shows clearly that Riefenstahl was an extraordinary strong personality.
Thats why she never gave excuses for crimes that she never commited, although a lot of
pressure was put on her in that direction. For this I tribute her lots of respect.
I am pretty much more concerned about those germans with weak moral, which believed
in the past to be a member of a superior race, while today they feel guilty
for crimes that they never commited, because they were not alive those times.
What kind of madness will originate from these delicate personalities in the future?
Read more ›
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Tome Raider VINE VOICE on October 3, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It took me over a month but I finally finished this

astonishing book. I'm exhausted and staggered by the sheer scope of

this woman's life--it is in fact a story larger than life. By way of

illustration, I recently read the famed and lengthy Carlos Baker

biography of Ernest Hemingway. Let me tell you in no uncertain

terms: Papa was a sissy in comparison to Leni Riefenstahl

(hereafter, LR). This woman displays more grit, tenacity, artistic

vision, dedication, resilience and audacity than a pack of wolves

cross bred with Ayn Rand and some other extreme artist of maniacal

bent, say, Van Gogh. She exemplifies the good and bad potentials for

life in the extreme. Hers is a story of perseverance and survival,

with agony and ecstasy throughout. The movie "The Wonderful,

Horrible Life of LR" could not be more aptly titled. Whew, I'm tongue

tied....this book took me there and back and I need a week off to

recuperate. It's well-written, but you won't read this for the

writing. This is about a life lived to the hilt, decades of painful

adventure, the stuff of legend.

Should you contemplate reading this book, I think you need to make a

decision in advance: Are you going to squander your time primarily

evaluating whether she had knowledge of the genocide of the Jewish

people by Hitler and hisminions?? If sitting as a juror as to facts

almost 60 years old is a particular hobby of yours, go at it.
Read more ›
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By M.C.Lloyd on November 11, 2002
Format: Paperback
There is no doubt that even today Leni Riefenstahl remains a controversial figure from the twentieth century. The editorial reviews listed have a knee jerk anti Riefenstahl sentiment and do not seem to be prepared to give her the benefit of the doubt. Riefenstahl was (is) undoubtedly a major film making talent, something which is admitted even by her greatest detractors. What the book shows is her internal fight against becoming the icon of propaganda film, with Riefenstahl longing to remain an actress and even become the next Marlene Dietrich. It is probably impossible to know how much of an apology for her life the book is, although the reader cannot help but admire her artistic vision and marvel at the truly amazing adventures she had (shooting movies on ice bergs which are breaking apart, for one!)
Although there are many incidents from her post war work, the majority of readers will be interested in the Nazi years. The question of whether she was genuinely ignorant of the abuses and horrors of Hitler and his cronies, or wheher she is trying to recast her personal life in light of them is one which nags at the reader at every turn. The answer will probably depend on the individual. In any case, the assertion that this is a dry and weak account is wrong and perhaps only points to the fact that it is best to approach the book with a (sceptical) open mind. Anyone interested in film history and pre and post war Germany will not be disapointed in the slightest!
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