Leni Riefenstahl's classic piece of historical filmmaking, filmed during the 1934 Nazi Party Rally in Nuremberg, Germany, is considered by many to be one of the most important and controversial films ever made.
The film, realized by Paul Joseph Goebbels, Hitler's Reich Minister for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda, was created to influence all of Germany to support the "power" of the Nazi Party. All during World War II in every theatre in Germany either part of, or all of, TRIUMPH OF WILL was shown.
Funded entirely by the N.S.D.A.P. (the Nazi Party), Hitler hired the young actress/director Leni Riefenstahl to direct. Money was unlimited, so Riefenstahl was eating and sleeping in the editing room with hundreds of thousands of feet of film for almost a full year. All of the shots in TRIUMPH OF THE WILL are carefully constructed. Sets were especially built to accommodate cameras and Hitler was filmed separately from the crowds so Riefenstahl could edit together a film that would manipulate imagery and seduce the mind.
An historically significant and, at times, horrifyingly manipulative exercise in propaganda for the Nazi regime, TRIUMPH OF THE WILL continues to be controversial over seventy years after its original release. This historical document has been unavailable in Germany for many decades. Until her death in 2003, Leni Riefenstahl was under fire for her personal relationship with Adolph Hitler, spending her life in the shadow of collaborating with the Nazi Party.