Synopsis[ edit ] The film begins with a prologue, the only commentary in the film. It consists of the following text, shown sequentially, against a grey background:
Triumph of the Will Most religious movements and political dynasties throughout history have had one city that could be called the focal point, or heart, of the movement — Rome, Jerusalem, Constantinople and so forth.
For the Nazis, the heart of their movement was the magnificent medieval city of Nuremberg, symbolizing the link between Germany's Gothic past and its Nazi future. Each September, a pilgrimage was held in which followers gathered from all over the Reich to participate in torchlight marches and solemn ceremonies honoring fallen Nazis.
In SeptemberAmerican journalist William L. Shirer had just arrived in Germany to work as a reporter for the Hearst Company. He proceeded to keep a diary of the entire seven years he spent reporting from inside Hitler's Reich.
Shirer thought it would be a good idea to attend the Nuremberg Rally to better understand the Nazi phenomenon. On his very first evening in the old city, he found himself accidentally stuck among a throng of ten thousand people in front of Hitler's hotel, shouting: A scene from her finished "Triumph of the Will" shows women greeting Hitler upon his arrival in Nuremberg.
A clever camera angle used by Riefenstahl in her film makes Hitler appear larger than life on the movie screen. Hitler with Riefenstahl in She remained a darling of the Third Reich for the duration - and went on to make a second notable film about the Berlin Olympics in They reminded me of the crazed expressions I once saw in the back country of Louisiana on the faces of some Holy Rollers It was Shirer's first experience with Nazi pomp and pageantry.
Borrowing a chapter from the Roman [Catholic] church, he is restoring pageantry and color and mysticism to the drab lives of 20th Century Germans. This morning's opening meeting The hall was a sea of brightly colored flags.
Even Hitler's arrival was made dramatic. The band stopped playing. There was a hush over the thirty thousand people packed in the hall. Then the band struck up the Badenweiler March Man's — or at least the German's — critical faculty is swept away at such moments, and every lie pronounced is accepted as high truth itself.
Utilizing thirty film cameras and technicians, she produced an extraordinary film record of the festivities, featuring many unique camera angles and dramatic lighting effects. Riefenstahl's finished masterpiece, Triumph of the Will, contains many impressive scenes, but perhaps none more powerful than the scene in which Hitler, Himmler, and the new SA leader, Viktor Lutze, walk down a wide aisle in the center of Nuremberg stadium flanked on either side by gigantic formations of Nazis in perfectly aligned columns.
In scenes well-documented by Riefenstahl's cameras, about 50, Brownshirts stood in neat formations and listened to a slightly edgy Hitler attempt to patch things up.
Interestingly, the film also shows a huge cordon of SS guards in attendance. Neither the SA, nor any other institution of the Party, has anything to do with this shadow.
They are all deceived who believe that even one crack has occurred in the structure of our united movement Only a lunatic or deliberate liar could think that I, or anybody, would ever intend to dissolve what we ourselves have built up over many long years In the past you have proved your loyalty to me a thousandfold, and it cannot and will not be different in the future.
And amid a hearty chorus of 'Sieg Heils,' the Brownshirts sounded their approval. Any concerns over possible trouble from the SA during the Rally had been unfounded. Riefenstahl's film next shows a lengthy sequence featuring the grand finale parade, and concludes with Hitler's speech at the closing ceremony in which he labels the Rally "a most impressive display of political power.In reality, Triump des Willens shows historians how the Nazi state drew in the masses through propaganda and also how Adolf Hitler had a unique and terrifying ability to entice crowds to his beliefs by the very power of his words” (Lenin Imports, ).
Triumph of Will. Analysis of Film. The Triumph of the Will Community Note includes chapter-by-chapter summary and analysis, character list, theme list, historical context, author biography and quizzes written by community members like you.
- The Triumph of the Will The movie opens with what seems to be a godly welcome. The images of the white clouds, the sun is shining, men, women, and children all smiling and rejoicing at the arrival of a god. As if he were a god Hitler descends down into Nuremberg to the awaiting people where he is exalted as the most high.
Upon the very first screening of Triumph of the Will in the Nazis knew they had struck propaganda gold. The film played to packed movie theaters throughout Germany. For her efforts, Riefenstahl received a Cultural Achievement award from Goebbels' Propaganda Ministry.
The film also won a gold medal for its artistry at the World Exhibition in Paris. Film Propaganda: Triumph of the Will as a Case Study Alan Sennett (bio) Until a reassessment by historians and film critics in the s, Leni Riefenstahl’s cinematic “record” of the September Nazi party rally had generally been regarded as the quintessential example of the art of political film propaganda.
But propaganda was not limited to newsreels; other kinds of movies made in Nazi Germany also expressed the government’s political and social views. Some films, like Triumph of the Will by director Leni Riefenstahl, glorified Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party.