Triumph of the Will is a filmed record of the 1934 Nazi Party Convention, in Nuremberg. Possibly the most powerful propaganda film ever made, Triumph of the Will is also, in retrospect, one of the most horrifying.
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As counterpoint, is this any more or less propaganda than Schindler's List - or anything else - as most things push a line & this IS a party political film, what else would it do? We tend to view it in embarrassed isolation: if we must, it's superb technically. But is it much different in intent to any other such artefact, the like of which are now produced on an industrial scale, with less brazen clarity than here?
Propagandist hagiography of one of history's most evil regimes. One cannot fault Riefenstahl's ability, however, the film's purpose negates all of its merits. A fascinating artefact to discuss the nature of reviewing: do we analyse form, agenda or both?
Every household should own at least one copy of this masterwork as it's one of the very few timeless cinematic monuments of the 20th Century and an inspiring reminder of the untapped potential of film.
I didn't really enjoy this film or its aesthetics, but I give it five stars for what it communicates to the present: Germany lost WWII, fascism won it. And the spirit of fascism has our world in a death grip, thus the eponymous "triumph of the will." Never mind the swastikas and jackboots, just an old mask for the same face that you find everywhere today.
This film should be watched and studied, for it shows us the power of art and media, the impact it can have on history and the human consciousness. It reminds us to question all forms of media, to see the purpose of their intent and to what aspects it is impacting our life and times.
The rally before the storm(troopers). Intense, epic propaganda. I think I've read most of the arguments yet I doubt I will ever reach closure on Riefenstahl. Would be five stars were it not for that wearing extended penultimate scene of marching, marching, marching. The final speech is chilling though. The normalisation of collective hysteria, racism and dictatorship. Was Hitler already insane in 1934?
Curiously it's the first film I had ever seen shake me and move me and disgust me and humour me (albeit sarcastically); or in other words really get a true human response of fury and passion.
The images are as horrifying and overwhelming as any masterpiece of terror. O Riefenstahl, what a waste of talent.