In its third edition or printing, Hinton's book obviously has an audience. I wonder if it is largely an academic audience suggesting that young Americans are still being exposed to Riefenstahl's work as a filmmaker and to an increasingly revisionist view of that work as dedicated to beauty and not at all bound up in politics. Most especially, this work, according to Hinton and to Riefenstahl whom he greatly admires, has nothing to do with Hitler and Nazis. Hinton takes issue with both Kracauer and Sontag whose treatments of the filmmaker he views as unjustifiably placing her in the ranks of those who knowingly and willingly served the Nazi regime as propagandists. The eternal return of Riefenstahl and the arguments that swirl around her work and her person continues to be a fascinating if alarming component of our culture. Whether she is or isn't implicated as an apologist for fascism is perhaps less important than the fact that she and her works have become inextricably bound up...
This is Dr. Hinton's third rewrite of the divine Leni and her films. Each time he aquires a bit more information from his research and other bits and pieces from a personal friendship which now spans 30 years and will continue until his death--since Ms. Rienfenstahl has declared herself immortal and God is taking her at her word. This book is a solid piece of film history and worth reading to gain a perspective about this remarkable woman and her contribution to 20th Century film.
Dr. Hinton's third rewrite of the history of this incredibly talented woman, detalining her enormous contribution to 20th Century film making. Her detractors, and there are still many non-believers who work so hard to destroy her reputation, will be hard pressed to find fault in Dr. Hinton's work. Now, at age 99, Leni continues her life's work, now focusing on underwater still photography, with the same enthusiasm and unbridled passion that she brought to cinima.
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