Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Triumph des Willens

Triumph of the Will. DE 1935. D: Leni Riefenstahl. With e-subtitles in Finnish by AA. Viewed at Cinema Orion (History of the Cinema), Helsinki, 14 Dec 2010. - Revisited the beginning. - Every year in our History of the Cinema series we show one Fascist film. We have shown Roberto Rossellini's Un pilota ritorna, Hans Steinhoff's Hitlerjunge Quex, and Goffredo Alessandrini's Noi vivi, and now, Triumph des Willens. None of these films were released in Finland. - For me, Triumph des Willens is a horror film about a cultured people being degraded into a mob before our very eyes. - This autumn I have been reading Samuel Fuller's memoirs, and he tells how fierce the defense of Germany was in every town and village even after it was evident that Germany had lost the war. Riefenstahl's film helps understand. - The cinematography by Sepp Allgeier and his team is excellent, and the music arrangement by Herbert Windt is profoundly moving. - There is no explicit racism and militarism in this film, which portrays the NSDAP as the harbinger of peace, prosperity and restoration. But we can sense the threat. - I believe one reason for the fact that Triumph des Willens was never generally screened in Finland (it was seen only in closed screenings arranged by the German embassy) was that in our country it would have largely functioned as anti-German and anti-Nazi propaganda. - But Soviet films started to be seen after the WWII, and they functioned as excellent anti-Soviet propaganda.

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