The film commences with Hitlerís arrival by plane in Nuremberg. Parallels can be made between Hitlerís arrival through the skies and the descent of God, coming to meet his people. This is reinforced by endless views of clouds that fill the screen. The planeís shadow moves relentlessly over the sunlit streets of Nuremberg. Shots of the townspeople in the streets, showed an awed crowd looking expectantly toward the heavens. Our sense of perspective and reality becomes that of the townspeople, aided by the music and steady flow of the plane, so that we are not awaiting the arrival of a mere mortal but a God. The filmís editing is tied to the rhythm in German anthems, with Wagnerian music playing as the plane carrying Hitler comes to earth. The music and bands reinforcing the glory of Nuremberg are backed up with countless choreographed images of men in uniform, marching into and out of abstract shapes and patterns due to Riefenstahlís various camera angles. The marching men are reduced to geometrical designs, while the shots of ecstatic crowds with their arms outstretched to greet Hitler demonstrates Nazi passion and obsession at its height. The Wagnerian score builds to a frenzied climax as Hitler takes the stand among the hysterical crowd. Purposeful composition and editing intensify this event.
The deliberate manipulation of emotion in Triumph of the Will is what lifts the film from documentary of reality and