‘TRIUMPH OF THE WILL’ Analysis

Discussion in 'The Third Reich' started by Maksym Chornyi, Feb 3, 2019.

  1. ‘TRIUMPH OF THE WILL’ Analysis

    After my August trip to Nuremberg and visiting ww2 sites, I’ve decided to manage a thoroughly detailed historical and movie analysis of the most well-known propaganda movie in history. Let’s deepen into the personality of Leni Riefenstahl, the historical features of the “Triumph of the Will”, analyze each of the 12 scenes in detail, plan by plan – speech by speech, as well as the movie techniques, behind the scenes story. I’ve used an extensive library on the subject and two weeks of work finalized in an article of 5000-words volume.

    Please feel free to comment. Feedback inspirers me to travel, write and share thoughts.

    Riefenstahl Triumph of the Will analysis: scene by scene

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  2. chipm

    chipm Active Member

    Perhaps there are not many film buffs on this forum.?
    I do not log-in here very often, so i am just falling into this now.
    I must say, i am impressed. You did a stellar job with all this my friend.
    Under different circumstances, many of the Nazis would have succeeded in Hollywood.
    Goebbels and Leni could have been big names in the movie biz.
    I am surprised you got Zero response from this.......:huh:
     
  3. TriciaF

    TriciaF Junior Member

    I've never seen it before. but from a 5 minute scan I find it frightening, very disturbing.
    I had an idea that this was what went on in the 20s/early 30s, but didn't want to think about it.
     
  4. Incredibledisc

    Incredibledisc Well-Known Member

    I must’ve missed this when it was originally posted. Will have to give it a proper look - Maksym’s articles are usually very good.
     
  5. TTH

    TTH Senior Member

    I will take a look at the article. This is a film well worth discussing and I sat through a good part of it years ago. It's undeniably an impressive piece of work and it does what a propaganda film is supposed to do, give visual and artistic form to the political ideal it represents. By its very impressiveness, however, it illustrates the ghastliness of that ideal as well or better than an overtly anti-Nazi film. The endless (and I do mean endless) parades, the uniformity, the folksy-fake antiquarian romanticism about the mythical German past, the descent of the god from the sky and the pagan torchlight worship of him, the oafish horseplay, the joyful, pseudo-queer Kameradschaft, the bizarre delight in even the most petty details of military life (even to lingering over a fat cook doling God knows what sort of slop out of the goulash cannon)...all this is so appalling that I still shake my head over the memory of it. Quite aside from concentration camps, who could bear to live in a society like that? Oh, and did I also mention that the film is one of the most boring things I've ever seen? You can only see only so many parades. But maybe you can't see enough of them if you're a Nazi. The fact that Triumph of the Will is or becomes extremely boring tells you a good deal about the Nazi sensibility. I gave up after a while and walked out of the theater.
     
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  6. Jba45ww2

    Jba45ww2 Patron Patron

    I had also missed the first post and just finished going through your work. I think you did a great job breaking down a film that for its time was considered a complex piece of work. It also brought back memories back for me because I had use the film in college (many years back) for paper in child phychology. We needed to find an example of a culture that for the most part that was educated that could be changed by other influences. Being involved in WW2 collecting/history I looked immediately towards the German people and used Triumph of The Will as an example. I always thought the most disturbing part of the film was when the German youth were shown and how they almost thought it was a game at first then just mesmerized by the pure evil.
    Now by no means do I say this movie caused WW2 but it is propaganda at the worst level. Great job and I wish I saw the post earlier.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2019
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  7. Incredibledisc

    Incredibledisc Well-Known Member

    Very interesting read. One little thing I noticed which I put down to English not being your first language - when you were writing about the thematic elements of the film you “motives” I think maybe “motif” would be the word you’re looking for.
     
  8. idler

    idler GeneralList Patron

    Just to make sure you don't miss it!
     
  9. chipm

    chipm Active Member

    She probably would have won an Academy Award for the editing.
    The cinematography has also been lauded many times.
    As director, she must have had SOME input to that, but i am not sure.
    Over the years, i have known quite a few "Film Freaks" that have commented about the "quality" of this movie.
    She said it was that ONE film that ruined her life.
    I THINK there are some stills of her and Romy Schneider (as a child obviously) at The Berghof.
     

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