On This Day

Leni Riefenstahl

Film director Leni Riefenstahl

Profession: Film director


Biography: Leni Riefenstahl was a dancer and an actress before she became interested in directing. Her 1932 film "The Blue Light" won her acclaim at the Venice Film festival.

By 1933 she had come to the attention of Adolf Hitler, whom she greatly admired. Riefenstahi was commissioned to film the 1933 Nuremberg rally which became the hour long propaganda film "The Victory of Faith". "The Triumph of the Will" and "Olympia" showcasing the 1936 Olympic Games followed. "The Triumph of the Will" is often called the greatest propaganda film of all time and was praised for its technical complexities.

Riefenstahl used unpaid gypsies from German detention camps while making her 1940 non propaganda film "Tiefland". They were later sent to Auschwitz. After the war Riefenstahl was found to be a Nazi sympathizer and escaped prosecution but her dealings with the Third Reich ended her career as a director.

Born: August 22, 1902
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany

Generation: Greatest Generation
Chinese Zodiac: Tiger
Star Sign: Leo

Died: September 8, 2003 (aged 101)
Cause of Death: Died in her sleep

Married Life

  • 2003-08-22 Film director Leni Riefenstahl (101) weds cinematographer Horst Kettner (59)

Historical Events

  • 1935-03-28 Influential Nazi Propaganda film "Triumph of the Will" released showing Nuremberg rallies, commissioned by Adolf Hitler and directed by Leni Riefenstahl

Famous Directors