Olympics and Leni Riefenstahl

August 8, 2008

Do controversial events result in controversial people, or it’s inversely?! Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

I don’t remember the heavily boycotted XXII Summer Olympic Games in Moscow which took place in 1980… But I do remember badges (bear Misha, remember!?), which could be today easily found at all flea markets or antique shops in South-East Europe.

Photo: Leni Riefenstahl

(I don’t have a problem with sport, as a matter of fact, luv it! – although, I’m not so enthusiastic anymore while watching for instance athletics, because I feel like I’m watching a running chemistry labs, not human beings.)

Since Olympic Games this year mostly emanate bitterness, it’s just a perfect time for a small remembrance on controversial photographer and filmmaker (who used to be a dancer, too!) Leni Riefenstahl.

Photo: Leni Riefenstahl

Riefenstahl was, apart from her brainwashed young mind during Hitler’s Third Reich, an amazing photographer and film maker. Her sense for composition still exalts many people…

She had a natural talent to intuitively manage the relation between shapes and frames perfectly ‘packed’ with the rhythm of the scene.

Photo: Leni Riefenstahl

Strange pathways and life irony made Leni Riefenstahl also an inspiring person during last (several?) decades of her life while she was intensively producing documentary photographs and books on the Nuba tribes in Africa and, particularly, her latest challenge in underwater photography, film ‘Underwater Impressions’. The one premiered on her 100th birthday in 2002.

Photo: Leni Riefenstahl

So, today at the beginning of the controversial Olympics, a controversial film is on schedule: ‘Olympia’. Film that Leni Riefenstahl has screened in year 1936 during the Summer Olympics in Berlin.

But, those were not Games only important (and terrifying!) for the world history over the next 10 years, but important for the black community as well, because in Berlin an amazing person and sportsman had emerged; and that was runner Jesse Owens.


Cinema opened!
Free entry

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

The End

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