Leni Riefenstahl: A Memoir / Edition 1

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A New York Times Notable Book of the Year.

One of the century's most remarkable and controversial women, Leni Riefenstahl is an artist of the first order. Dancer, actor, and photographer, she is best known as the director of Triumph of the Will, a film of a Nazi Party rally and Olympia, the classic account of the 1936 Berlin Olympics. It is for these works of cinematic propaganda that Riefenstahl is revered and reviled. In this autobiography, she discusses her motivations, her history, her important friendships, and, most of all, her art. Along with insights into directing and camera work, Riefenstahl offers an emotional, powerful story of a woman who refuses to be defined by any terms other than her own.

Leni Riefenstahl is best known as director of Triumph of the Will, a film of a Nazi Party Rally, and Olympia, the classic account of the 1936 Berlin Olympics. In this memoir, the author finally discusses her motivations, her history, her important friendships, and, most of all, her art. 40 pages of black-and-white photos.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Some books are so exciting that you can't put them down. This one is so exciting that you often must put it down, lest you overdose on thrills . . . does not contain a single unspellbinding page"—John Simon, The New York Times Book Review
The U.S. edition of the filmmaker's memoir, originally published in German in 1987 (Albrecht Knaus Verlag) and translated in 1992 for publication in Great Britain under the title The Sieve of Time (Quartet Books). It's a hefty chronicle--she was 90 when it was published, and she had a lot to tell--and she also had a lot to explain regarding her connections with Hitler and Nazism (her most famous film, Triumph of the Will, is recognized as a Nazi propaganda masterpiece). The memoir itself seems to be a propaganda piece; but still, her extraordinary talent, energy, and individuality cannot be disputed. Includes photos. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
From Barnes & Noble
Revered for her art and reviled for her ties to the Nazi regime, Leni Riefenstahl has led a fascinating life. In this book, the controversial Riefenstahl chronicles her rise through the ranks from actress to director to Hitler's personal documentarian--in which capacity she filmed her two masterpieces, Triumph of the Will and Olympia. Blacklisted for her affiliation with the Third Reich, she never again worked in film; yet, phoenix-like, she rose to become a world-renowned photographer & (in her nineties) a deep-sea diver. B&W photos.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312119263
  • Publisher: Picador
  • Publication date: 2/1/1995
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 669
  • Sales rank: 807,413
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.58 (d)

Meet the Author

Leni Riefenstahl lives in Europe.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2001

    Beautifully done

    Read this memoir for the worlds she recalls and recreates. It is less a tract of explanation and instead a statement of an artist who lived, prospered and suffered on the other side of history; in the end came out of another rabbit hole to a new life as a chronicler of life with the Nuba, and her new life in Africa and the world of the late 20th century. Aside from the historical concussions, this is the story of an influential film director. The work as director is equally that of artiste and business executive. She describes the German film industry of the giant UFA age, an industry that no longer exists. In fact, that is her favorite motif: the transcience of experience from fact to memory, and then the degradation of memory. The image endures.

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