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Film Triumph des Willens - Movie Review Example

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The German film Triumph des Willens (Triumph of the Will) (1935) filmed by director Leni Riefenstahl, has been one of the most contentiously analyzed films of the past century. The film was produced by Adolph Hitler to document the Sixth National Socialist Party Rally held in September 1934…
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Film Triumph des Willens
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Film Triumph des Willens

Download file to see previous pages... The film is made in the framework of an epic documentary. It employs many dramatic effects such as framing and sequencing to heighten the heroic ambition of the film. Hitler's obsession with being the savior of Germany can be seen in the opening scene. The clouds give way to the city of Nuremberg as an airplane descends from the sky. Hitler exits the plane and leaves no doubt that the film is about Hitler and not a factual representation of the Socialist Rally.
Much of the film highlights Hitler as it attempts to connect the dictator with the German people. The motorcade scene is shot in wide angle from a distance to give the feeling of the gathering crowds. The shot then switches to the limousine as if the viewers were watching through Hitler's eyes. This dramatic sequencing sets up the connection between Hitler and the German people.
This connection to the public is further demonstrated in the film with the use of close ups on women and children. They are smiling, healthy, and praising the dictator. Critics have contended that the film was staged and therefore is of no historical importance. However, it should be noted that this was a political rally, which are often attended only by supporters and often hold staged events. Triumph des Willens's value is the accurate portrayal of Hitler as a meglo-maniac and self obsessed dictator. This can be seen in the low angled shots that make his image loom over the surroundings.
To further solidify the film's historical perspective there is the gratuitous use of fear throughout the film. The military that marches in precision is an indicator that the military was under Hitler's control. It was a polished and well-equipped organization that could instill fear in the population or be unleashed in a coming war. Hitler's march through the masses of gathered soldiers is a genuine historical record of the size and obedience of the German army at that time.
Though the film is a piece of Nazi propaganda that was staged to promote the Socialist Party movement, it is also a primary source and a historical document. It illustrates the rise of a genocidal dictatorship through dramatic exaggeration and propaganda. The director originated filming techniques that have become the standard for current docu-dramas and feature films. Early study of the film could have predicted Hitler's eventual hostile tendencies and thirst for world domination.
Works Cited
Triumph des Willens (Triumph of the Will). Dir. Leni Riefenstahl. Perf. Adolph Hitler. 1935. DVD. Synapse, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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