Wonderful, Horrible Life of Leni Riefenstahl
Wonderful, Horrible Life of Leni Riefenstahl (1993)

Fascinating documentary about the extraordinary life of one of the world's great filmmakers, Leni Riefenstahl, whose career was destroyed by her involvement with the Nazi party. Issues of artistic freedom vs. political responsibility… More

Directed By:
Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: April 27, 1999
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Rotten Tomatoes™
Critic Score
95%
Flixster
User Score
87%


Critic Score: 95% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader

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.

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Desson Thomson
Washington Post

Overly long, but fascinating.

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Beth Accomando
KPBS.org

Fascinating documentary about controversial director Len Riefenstahl.

Vincent Canby
New York Times

Sometimes clunky but consistently fascinating.

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Emanuel Levy
EmanuelLevy.Com

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

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Film4

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?

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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times

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.

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Robert Roten
Laramie Movie Scope

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

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TV Guide's Movie Guide

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.

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