Leni Riefenstahl denied that her film Triumph of the Will was propaganda. She said "It really is history - pure history". Susan Sontag's response would be that the film is propaganda that's not about fascism but is itself a fascist film. Explain her argument and what she means by that. You are of course also free to disagree with her position but you must provide debate to support your disagreement. Use in your answer contrasts with the documentary Night and Fog and just why it can be grouped as a documentary instead of the propaganda of Triumph of the Will?"
Having aimed and acted in many films, Leni Riefenstahl is among the most only major artist determined completely with the Nazi time. Her most well known film Triumph of the Will (Triumph des Willens, 1935) is still considered the greatest propaganda film of all time. Riefenstahl however, has always taken care of that the film was a documentary and structured "pure record", Susan Sontag's response is that the film is nothing more than 'genuine propaganda and fascist'. As the excellent use of film techniques may lead one to believe often, Susan Sontag argues that Leni Riefenstahl's relationships with Nazi control and regular illustration of fascist themes establishes that Triumph of the Will is fascist and intended to promote and perpetuate Nazi ideology.
It have been during Adolf Hitler and Nazi Party's climb to ability in the 1930's, when Leni Riefenstahl began to take pleasure from international fame as a film director. The goal of Hitler and the Nazi Get together was the complete annihilation of the Jewish individuals, in addition to convincing the German visitors to create a new empire that would span most of Europe. To be able to achieve this goal, he needed the support of most German citizens. With this in mind, Leni Riefenstahl was commissioned by Hitler to lead a film that would later be dubbed the best propaganda film ever.
The film, Triumph of the Will, chronicles the Nazi Party's 1934 congress in Nuremberg, Germany. It advertised the cause of German nationalism, by wanting to unite all people under the Nazi Get together. Riefenstahl's claim that the film is a documentary is adamantly declined by Sontag, who asserts that Triumph of the Will is the most successful, most purely propagandistic film available. Sontag's argument commences with Leni Riefenstahl's marriage with Nazi authority. Regarding to Riefenstahl, her relationship with Adolf Hitler and Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels was strictly business in nature. Goebbels and Hitler contacted Riefenstahl in 1933 asking her to escort a movie on the situations of the approaching Nazi Party congress in Nuremberg. Riefenstahl expresses that she have been reluctant initially, but later arranged pending with certain conditions. One of the conditions included complete discretion on editing (so that her 'individualistic and unbiased artistry' wouldn't normally be jeopardized), and second, it was to be her only film that she'd lead to the Nazi party.
Sontag argues that the "mere notion of resisting Nazi makes an attempt to subject matter her visualisation to a strictly propagandistic necessity should appear like nonsense to anyone". Apart from the evidence of the movie itself, there was never any struggle between Riefenstahl and Goebbels. Triumph of the Will got actually been Riefenstahl's third film for the Nazis, and was made with full cooperation of the federal government. She experienced an infinite budget, staff and cams. The camera team was even given authorities uniforms so that through the filming, nobody would question their activities. Further, in Riefenstahl's book released in 1935 about the making of the film, she claimed to get helped plan the rallies herself, which were conceived as the group of a film spectacle. With this statement, it might be illogical for you to assume that the film was not propagandas or fascist to begin with.
The second condition imposed by Riefenstahl had been baseless. Inside the documentary which interviewed Riefenstahl, she retains that Triumph of the Will could be the only movie she'd create for the Nazis. However, Riefenstahl would continue to create and escort several more videos. One named Olympiad, which is made up of two movies: Event of people, and the Festivity of Beauty. Riefenstahl says to have produced the videos, but also stated that the motion pictures were commissioned by the International Olympic Committee, and protested by Joseph Goebbels. Sontag argues that this is inaccurate. The reality says Sontag, is that the videos were commissioned and totally financed by the Nazi Government and facilitated by Goebbels himself.
The above illustrations illustrate a pattern that validates Sontag's argument: Riefenstahl's close relationship with high Nazi management means that all motion pictures produced and aimed by Riefenstahl had been heavily influenced by the Nazi Get together. Naturally, Riefenstahl says to haven't been linked whatsoever with the Nazis before the making of Triumph of the Will. This relating to Sontag is also incorrect. In fact, Hitler, Riefenstahl and Goebbels had been close friends a long time before 1932, and there is no data to suggest the Goebbels experienced any animosity towards Riefenstahl (a claim she had preserved because the 1950s).
Sontag discussion of the fascism then focuses on the film itself. Although Triumph of the Will has no narrative tone (another of Riefenstahl's claim that the film is a documentary), it can commence with a written words, claiming to record the rebirth of the German nation 16 years following the end of World Battle I. This says Sontag, the least amount of merit for boasting that film is unbiased or not propagandist. Alternatively, the film presents an already well established social change of Nazism in Germany. The designed ceremonies, parades, marches, procession and architecture of the halls and stadium have been designed for the convenience of the cams. Sontag is therefore right to argue that "the file is no longer this is the record of fact; 'certainty' has been produced to provide the image".
Accordingly, many topics in the movie help demonstrate Sontag's discussion of the movies fascist and propagandist aspect. For example, the film grows Hitler into a divine amount head dispatched from above (beginning of the film) to renew early Nuremburg and liberate the German people utilizing a motion of racial awareness. Riefenstahl would use this motif consistently throughout the film. For example, when Hitler would give a talk, the camera perspective would be from below to give him a certain aura of godliness. The buildings built to accommodate the rally are also reminiscent of a unique certainty to creating a fresh worldly order of the German nation. What at first glance seem to be "images that are merely picturesque scenery, complexes seen through mist, silhouettes from the clouds - on closer assessment grow to be a really fantastic 'point of view' most subtly enforced upon the viewer".
Through the aforementioned arguments one can see what Sontag means when she says that the film itself is fascist. Fascism is a governmental system led by a dictator having complete electricity, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce etc. , and emphasizing an ambitious nationalism and often racism. By using this definition and applying it to the above mentioned facts provided by Sontag, it is easily determinable that the film was designed to show Germany as a fascist express and Hitler as its divine head. Hitler wanted to maintain control over all of Germany, and have so by forcing the closure of the federal government (after the Reichstag had been set burning in 1933), and openly promoting issues of race. Hitler experienced also persuaded then Chief executive von Hindenburg to sign the Reichstag Fireplace Decree Regulation, essentially nullifying any civil liberties and basic individuals rights within Germany. His accession to vitality inherently went unchallenged, paving just how for the holocaust that ensued.
By contrasting the visual design of two important motion pictures, Triumph of the Will and Alain Resnais' documentary Evening and Fog, helps brings additional definitiveness to the case of the videos propaganda and fascism. Evening and Fog is a French documentary stated in 1955. It had been made 10 years following the allied liberation of Nazi amount camps and features the Auschwitz and Majdanek camps. Riefenstahl's film celebrates the Nazi Party congress in Nuremburg in 1934. While Resnais' film documents the atrocities of the Nazi focus camps. Resnais' contrasts the past with the present by borrowing images from Triumph of the Will to display the change from Riefenstahl's world to post-war Europe. The two films were made for greatly different reasons and in different historical contexts, but upon assessment, reveal how movies may be used to express ideas and feelings.
The starting of Resnais' film is similar to Riefenstahl's. A view from up above the clouds moving downward in a sluggish tilt that brings into frame rusted barbed cable. "Riefenstahl simulates Hitler's 'god's eye' point of view, whereas Resnais recreates the idea of view of Hitler's victims". This shot makes a direct mention of Riefenstahl's film, and display one of the central themes or templates: the simultaneous importance and impossibility of representing victims of the holocaust.
In the other images lent from Triumph of the Will, the camera will not move, filming from a minimal angle as if to seem that it had been crushed or subdued. In his book The Holocaust in French Film, creator Andre Colombat, state governments that the same angles are used constantly to show the horror and the amount of the Holocaust. In Riefenstahl's film, the contrary effect is supposed. The low angle photographs, says Colombat, are intended to indicate the effectiveness of the army and the energy of the Nazi market leaders. By comparison, it would appear that both Resnais and Riefenstahl are guilty of biasness some way. However, Resnais' artistry is one of genuine subtle transitions that bring traces of the past for this fact, and showcase the social transformation that took place through the 1930s. Riefenstahl's fact was created to serve the image and therefore not as genuine as the film portrays. Riefenstahl possessed essentially helped the Nazis achieve their goal of creating a fascist point out, while Resnais proved the dreadful results of what fascism possessed led to.
Leni Riefenstahl possessed always neglected criticism of her film Triumph of the Will and passed away reluctant in admitting her guilt for the creation of the ultimate propaganda film and more importantly the killing of millions of Jews, Gypsies, Homosexuals among others deemed socially undesirable to the Nazis. This film is known as propaganda through the eye of these who condemn genocide or stood idly by as the Holocaust happened, right in the midst of what appeared to be a normal world. Alain Resnais film Nighttime and Fog, is known as a documentary since the truth behind the Holocaust is uncovered without censorship.
Leni Riefenstahl's admiration for the Nazi ideology and its own leader Adolf Hitler paved the way for a film unlike any. Susan Sontag's research of Triumph of the Will film, argues that the utilization of refined techniques and staged incidents provided a fallacious truth that had become the fabrication of a fascist state. Proving that regardless of what Riefenstahl promises, she clearly acquired meant it to be propagandist and of a fascist aspect - even though she may have refused her participation with the Holocaust itself, it is clear that she also performed a pivotal role in its creation.