A Portrait of Leni Riefenstahl

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Leni Riefenstahl will always be remembered for her brilliant film of the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin - still rated as one of the best documentaries ever made. Before that she was acclaimed for her roles in silent feature films, when German cinema was in its artistic heyday in the 1920s. She pioneered the box office success of such classic mountaineering dramas as The White Hell of Piz Palu and then began to direct her own films. The Blue Light was admired by Hitler and led to her filming the Wagnerian Nuremberg Rally of 1934. After the war she was shunned by the film industry, despite a court in 1952 proclaiming her not guilty of supporting the Nazis in a punishable way. Her undoubted charisma led to many affairs and grandiose schemes - deep sea diving in her seventies and still filming wildlife in her nineties. Audrey Salkeld has sifted the fact from the legend and gives us a moving portrait of the great movie `star' who suffered more in the `wilderness' than her enduring fame suggests.

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About the author (1997)

Audrey Salkeld, journalist and television scriptwriter, has the most comprehensive archive in Britain on mountaineering and exploration. She scripted such award-winning television documentaries as Leo Dickinson's Eiger and David Breashears' The Mystery of Mallory and Irvine, and is the co-author with Tom Holzel of the controversial book of the same name. She has translated from the German books by Reinhold Messner and Kurt Diemberger, and is the author of a highly praised Himalayan book, People in High Places.

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