Wanita Wednesdays: “Triumph of the Will” (“Triumph des Willens”)

From special guest writer Wanita.
After taking an introductory film class, Wanita wished to contribute a little of what she learned. Therefore, every Wednesday until the end of January, Wanita will be talking about a specific aspect of filmmaking or a film she enjoyed, i.e. Wanita Wednesdays! This week: her opinion on propaganda film “Triumph of the Will”.
SYNOPSIS (from IMDb): The infamous propaganda film of the 1934 Nazi Party rally in Nuremberg, Germany.
“Triumph of the Will” was somewhat disturbing to watch. It portrayed something that we know to be terrible, in a good light. It gave us this one sided view of things, but no matter how many happy images were projected in the film, the idea that something horrific followed later on would not leave my mind. However, the film was full of film language. The cinematography was amazing, the low angle shots were used to symbolize the God-like image of Hitler; he looks over everything, and descends from the heavenly looking clouds, which brings an undertone of religion. There were also undertones about culture; the shots of statues and architecture, along with this parade made it seem like Hitler was intertwined with the German culture.
The mise-en-scène used during the speech revolved around perfect order. Nothing was out of place, everyone was in perfect squares, and the banners were perfectly laid, three of them, which also suggest religion: the Holy Trinity. The perfect order of things also brings the idea that Hitler wanted things to be perfectly to his liking, as if he controlled where people went, like he was God. During the speeches, he was also on this huge podium, which played up his superiority. The camps shown were also in perfect order too. Their tents were all lined up by colour, there were rows of completely dark tents and rows of completely light tents, and nowhere did I find a dark tent with a white tent after it.
It is quite interesting the way this propaganda film makes things seem, how they show only the happy or fun side of things. What makes this movie so disturbinh is what I mentioned earlier, the fact that these people are happy and having fun, though we know about the suffering that is inflicted later on.

LAST DETAILS: “Triumpf of the Will” (1934) directed by Leni Riefenstahl, written by Leni Riefenstahl and Walter Ruttman, starring Adolf Hitler, Joseph Gobbels and Herman Göring.

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