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The Wonderful, Horrible Life of Leni Riefenstahl (1993)

The Wonderful, Horrible Life of Leni Riefenstahl

TOMATOMETER

Average Rating: 7.5/10
Reviews Counted: 22
Fresh: 21 | Rotten: 1

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

No Score Yet...
Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 4
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 1

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

AUDIENCE SCORE

Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 810

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Movie Info

In the 1930s, Leni Riefenstahl was arguably the most important and accomplished female filmmaker of her generation; however, since her primary sponsor was Adolf Hitler, and her best-known work was a hagiographic documentary on the 1934 Nazi Party congress entitled Triumph of the Will, a long and unending debate has raged whether Riefenstahl was a fascist propagandist or a talented artist whose crime was merely doing a job too well. Macht der Bilder: Leni Riefenstahl is an exhaustive two-part … More

Rating:
Unrated
Genre:
Documentary , Art House & International
Directed By:
In Theaters:
On DVD:
Apr 27, 1999
Runtime:


Cast


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Critic Reviews for The Wonderful, Horrible Life of Leni Riefenstahl

All Critics (24) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (21) | Rotten (1)

This is more often self-portrait than portrait; like Hitler in Riefenstahl's Triumph of the Will, she's presented as a fully formed deity without family background or ideology save a reverence for beauty and strength.

Full Review… | March 14, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Sometimes clunky but consistently fascinating.

Full Review… | August 30, 2004
New York Times
Top Critic

This movie is fascinating in so many different ways: As the story of an extraordinary life, as the reconstruction of the career of one of the greatest of film artists, as the record of an ideological debate, as a portrait of an amazing old woman.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Overly long, but fascinating.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Washington Post
Top Critic

A riveting docu about the controversial filmmaker who made some great propaganda art for Hitler

Full Review… | July 25, 2011
EmanuelLevy.Com

Overlong examination of the life of an enigmatic, willful, disengenuous, fascinating, influential and enormously gifted filmmaker.

Full Review… | March 19, 2009
Laramie Movie Scope

Fascinating documentary about controversial director Len Riefenstahl.

January 27, 2009
KPBS.org

A riveting and encyclopaedic biography of an extraordinary woman. But it also poses heavy questions. Can art ever be isolated from its political context? Are Riefenstahl's claims about her political innocence valid?

Full Review… | March 14, 2007
Film4

Mueller's dialectical approach allows him to expose many half-truths (and a few outright lies) by adducing contrary evidence; by the film's end, Riefenstahl's apologia emerges clearly as an elaborate mythification of self and history.

Full Review… | March 14, 2007
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Riefenstahl masterfully dissects her own Triumph of the Will and forcefully denies that artists bear any special political responsibility.

July 22, 2004

A wonderful, fascinating documentary on the infamous German director, possibly the greatest female filmmaker in history.

Full Review… | February 27, 2004

... essential viewing ... to understand Riefenstahl or for anyone curious about how art and politics come out when on a collision course

Full Review… | May 10, 2002
Old School Reviews

This complex existence is the subject of writer/director Ray Mueller's engrossing documentary.

Full Review… | February 27, 2001
Q Network Film Desk

An exhaustive portrait of Nazi-era filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Filmcritic.com

However misdirected, Riefenstahl's talent is here in full bloom. And audience members may leave with their own contradictory feelings about her life and what it means.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

... really experience her energy and her drive for cinematic perfection.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Internet Reviews

Highly recommended.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Austin Chronicle

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