Celebrity Birthday of the Day – August 22

Leni Riefenstahl was a German actor and director whose career in film was not a long one, but bears extreme historical significance. After gaining acclaim on the stage, Riefenstahl took some acting roles and eventually moved into directing such films as The Blue Light and Tiefland. But the film that she is probably most associated with is one that would haunt her after the events that followed its creation. Triumph of the Will is perhaps the best known piece of Nazi propaganda ever created, and chronicles Hitler’s Nuremberg rally. In the aftermath of World War 2, Riefenstahl was arrested for her associations with the Nazi party, but denied knowledge of the attrocities committed in the war. She described meeting Hitler as “the biggest catastrophe of my life. Until the day I die people will keep saying, ‘Leni is a Nazi’, and I’ll keep saying, ‘But what did she do?'” Incidentally, the films of Leni Riefenstahl factored greatly into the plot of Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds. Riefenstahl died of natural causes in 2003.

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