Triumph des Willens (Triumph Of The Will)


Triumph des Willens (Triumph Of The Will)

Critics Consensus

Triumph of the Will is impossible to separate from its repugnant political context -- and impossible to deny as a powerfully made piece of cinematic propaganda.



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Movie Info

Triumph of the Will (Triumph des Willens) is a filmed record of the 1934 Nazi Party Convention, in Nuremberg. No, it is more than just a record: it is an exultation of Adolf Hitler, who from the moment his plane descends from Valhalla-like clouds is visually characterized as a God on Earth. The "Jewish question" is disposed of with a few fleeting closeups; filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl prefers to concentrate on cheering crowds, precision marching, military bands, and Hitler's climactic speech, all orchestrated, choreographed and illuminated on a scale that makes Griffith and DeMille look like poverty-row directors. It has been alleged that the climactic rally, "spontaneous" Sieg-Heils and all, was pre-planned according to Riefenstahl's specifications, the better to take full advantage of its cinematic potential. Allegedly, propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels resented the presence and intrusion of a woman director, but finally had to admit that her images, achieved through the use of 30 cameras and 120 assistants, were worth a thousand speeches. Possibly the most powerful propaganda film ever made, Triumph of the Will is also, in retrospect, one of the most horrifying. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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Critic Reviews for Triumph des Willens (Triumph Of The Will)

All Critics (23) | Top Critics (3)

  • That Triumph of the Will is a great propaganda film, there is no doubt, and various surveys have named it so. But I doubt that anyone not already a Nazi could be swayed by it.

    Feb 17, 2016 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
  • Nazis or no, two hours of marching and speechifying is pretty damn dull; maybe this is what they mean by "the banality of evil."

    Feb 17, 2016 | Full Review…
  • Technically brilliant, and still one of the most disturbing pieces of propaganda around.

    Jun 24, 2006 | Full Review…

    Chris Petit

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • The movie is the embodiment of an evil and destructive philosophy, but it must remain accessible for both new filmmakers and students of history, especially if it inspires them to contemplate the moral limits of their respective fields.

    Mar 14, 2016 | Full Review…
  • Making a supreme effort to put aside the socio-ethical considerations this is, in purely cinematic terms, incredible filmmaking.

    Feb 17, 2016 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…
  • Leni Riefenstahl's infamous masterwork sits with The Birth of a Nation in the pantheon's "outcast unclean" section.

    Feb 17, 2016 | Full Review…

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