Riefenstahl, Leni. Triumph of the Will, (film). Germany, 1935.
Documentary is not bound by realism alone; it offers a significant diversity that helps to maintain its distinction in the media industry. Because one is never quite sure that what they view on screen is pro-filmic convention or the unfolding of events as they actually transpired, it might be arguable that Triumph of the Will falls more appropriately into the category of sensationalistic filmmaking rather than objective documentary. University of Southern California critical studies Professor Curtiz Marez (2003) argues the film is false documentary. He believe so because the film was entirely financed by the Nazi government (UFA), commissioned by Hitler personally, completed by all involved with full cooperation of the government, and it displays most forcefully the expression via artistic representation of the ideas espoused in Hitlerís own Mein Kampf. Riefenstahlís alleged documentary is little more than a celebration of Hitler and the Nazis as the saviors of Germany and its people. This is how Hitler envisioned it and ordered it made. Riefenstahlís cinematic talents made the film fearfully powerful and credible among Germans. There is no doubt that at the height of his popularity, Hitler managed to secure unquestioned loyalty from Germans as a direct result of this newly employed form of propaganda.
After its humiliating defeat in WWI, German society was characterized by devastating times including a recession that would not abate until the rise of Hitler. Triumph of the Will is nothing if not a paean to Hitler as a great leader, with supreme control and enjoying the unquestioning faith of the German people. The people stand together in the film, embracing the Fuhrer, displaying a massive show of national pride that would rule German society during WWII. In the eyes of Germans, Hitler stood as the fearless leader that would lead them out of the depression and deliver them a new life fi