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Hitler’s filmmaker hits a milestone

Leni Riefenstahl, known for propaganda films that glorified the Third Reich, becomes the longest working director in the history of the cinema with this summer's release of Impressions Under Water. Coinciding with her 100th birthday in August, the 45-minute film is culled from footage of Riefenstahl's dives in the Indian Ocean between 1974 and 2000 and is her first film release in 50 years.
February 1, 2002

Leni Riefenstahl, known for propaganda films that glorified the Third Reich, becomes the longest working director in the history of the cinema with this summer’s release of Impressions Under Water. Coinciding with her 100th birthday in August, the 45-minute film is culled from footage of Riefenstahl’s dives in the Indian Ocean between 1974 and 2000 and is her first film release in 50 years.

Riefenstahl started out as a dancer and appeared in several feature films before becoming a filmmaker in her own right. She came to prominence in the 1930s after approaching Adolf Hitler to offer her services as a filmmaker. Riefenstahl was commissioned to make three films during the Third Reich, the most notorious of which was Triumph of the Will, about the 1934 Nazi rally at Nuremberg.

Never a member of the Nazi party herself, Riefenstahl was nonetheless seen as a pariah for many years. She has since tried to distance herself from her Nazi connections and has made a name for herself as an accomplished photographer.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for HMV.com. As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.

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