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Where does one begin to tell of the life of this incredible woman? In the early days of movies, even back to the silent films, the extremely beautiful, sultry face of LENI RIEFENSTAHL was seen in many films of the emerging German film industry. She played roles ranging from a shepherd girl, a gypsy and a dancehall girl to the high society wife of a global explorer. In each film, her beauty, her sex appeal - and her great talent shone through.
Then came LENI's "Triumph"!
She had been given the opportunity to let her outstanding talent stretch itself, and she produced and directed some films for the Third Reich that were excellent - then she did "Triumph of the Will". Anyone who has ever seen that film cannot come away without some strong emotional reaction. The camera angles, the moving cameras, the black and white contrasts, the music.........the entire film is a classic far above normal classics. Some of her cinematographic techniques are taught today in leading film schools. We must also keep in mind that she made all these great strides at a time when women really had no opportunity to do major works.
LENI RIEFENSTAHL was a strong Member of Sharkhunters and helped us every chance she could. She sent us hand-signed bookplates which we placed in copies of her "Memoirs" book and sold to Members, to keep Sharkhunters growing. We wrote back and forth, sent FAXes to one another and in this modern electronic age, also sent emails to each other. Any time my travels took me to München (Munich), I would call ahead to arrange an afternoon for coffee and conversation, but was never successful because LENI was always out of the country, making another documentary film. This great lady just never quit! She was active until her passing, one week past her 101st birthday.
If we were to list all her accomplishments, it would requires hours and hours. Let us just remember LENI RIEFENSTAHL as one of the most remarkable women of the 20th Century and possibly of all time.
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