Leni riefenstahl

How Leni Riefenstahl shaped the modern Olympics

It’s an uncomfortable truth, but the Olympic Games in their modern form were pretty much invented by the Nazis. They came up with the idea of the torch relay, for example, the one that begins in Olympia and ends with the lighting of the cauldron at the opening ceremony. But it wasn’t the events at the 1936 Olympics that were new, so much as the way they were presented and filmed. Even today, the style of coverage owes much to Leni Riefenstahl, Hitler’s favourite filmmaker and arguably the most gifted and influential female director of the 20th century. Her ground-breaking techniques, as seen in her cinematic masterpiece Olympia, included low

Leni Riefenstahl is missing: The Dictator’s Muse, by Nigel Farndale, reviewed

Leni Riefenstahl was a film-maker of genius whose name is everlastingly associated with her film about the German chancellor, Triumph of the Will, which won the gold medal at the 1937 Paris World Exhibition. It is an unforgettable piece of cinema, with the lonely hero descending, like one of the immortals, from the clouds. As he enters the podium at Nuremberg, we only see the back of his head as he wows the tens of thousands. In Nigel Farndale’s riveting novel, Riefenstahl remarks to one of the athletes at the 1936 Olympics that the only thing which she really cares about is film. This seems indeed to have been the