Thursday, February 1, 2007

This clip is taken from Leni Riefenstahl's famous propaganda movie "Triumph des Willens" (1935). French writer Georges Bataille wrote about the "aesthetic power" of these highly manipulated Nazi public demonstrations, which appeared as sacred symbols (one can tell the amount of detailed planning of choreography and mis-en-scene behind them). Hitler would say: "The receptive powers of the masses are very limited, and their understanding is feeble. All effective propaganda must be confined to a few bare essentials and these must be expressed as far as possible in stereotyped formulas. These slogans should be persistently repeated until the very last individual has come to grasp the idea that has been put forward…" (Doesn't it sound a bit like modern advertisement?). Trumph of the Will is widely regarded as one of the most effective pieces of propaganda ever produced. A masterful, epic, innovative work of documentary filmmaking, commissioned by the Nazi party and widely used to support Hitler's cause before the war. The film was a rousing success in Europe, but widely banned in America.

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