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Leni Riefenstahl Paperback – January 15, 1995


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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: 6 x 1.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #113,062 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.

Customer Reviews

All this woman and all descriptions found in her book.
ChuckDancer
To understand LR position vs. national socialism is to understand the dynamics of a society under a dictatorship.
Doru Culiac
I especially recommend the book to anyone who loves the art of film-making.
Dagmar F. Pelzer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 30 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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38 of 40 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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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By J. Bielawski on January 9, 2003
Format: Paperback
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).

Added 2015:
So it's more than 10 years later and still no complete English translation. Here is an example of the differences. (There are many more, everywhere; also missing photographs.) Most of the omissions are not critical but they do flatten the prose significantly. In this instance an important detail is omitted regarding who it was that the headmistress in Leni's school in the 1919 Berlin invited for a recital. I put the German fragments in square brackets and a slash "/" when the English text starts deviating from the German:

"My father still knew nothing about my dance classes. [I could hide my dance lessons from my father only twice a week.] Every Tuesday and Friday [between 4 and 5 o'clock] I roller-skated [to Budapester Strasse. Yorckstrasse was paved with asphalt so I could skate] all the way to the entrance of the school and I got away with my deception until a terrible day of reckoning. Every year Frau Grimm-Reiter's students gave a display [Every year Frau Grimm-Reiter would hire the Blüthner-Saal for her students to give a display] and, this particular year, she was delighted to have a star attraction. Anita Berber, /a former student and now a famous dancer who sometimes practiced at school, had agreed to perform. [a fascinating human being with a boyish figure, she had already been very well-known thanks to the nude dances she performed on small stages and at nightclubs. Her body was so perfect that her nakedness never appeared obscene.
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33 of 36 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.
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