Hitlerjunge Quex is pure propaganda, of
interest to the historian only. Triumph of the Will is
different. If you have read the reviews on this site and any of the
links to other sites, you will know that TOTW is different
because it is art. The following questions are taken from the
excellent filmeducation.orgwebsite and get you to consider some of ethical issues
associated with the role of the artist in a dictatorship.
on Triumph of the Will.
Does he think it is a documentary
different viewpoints on the
propaganda v documentary debate
1. Think about how the historian would view Triumph
of the Will. How valid do you think it is as an accurate portrayal
of the Nazi rally at Nuremberg in 1934? If you do not think that it
is an accurate record, is such a film useful to the historian in
2. At her trial after the war Leni Reifenstahl was acquitted of war
crimes on the grounds that Triumph of the Will only depicted what
other German newsreels of the time had also shown of Nuremberg and
that she had not falsified or constructed anything in her film. In
your opinion, does the film look like a newsreel or do you think
that it has been arranged and shaped to affect the audience in a
3. What effect do you think that Triumph of the Will would have had
on the audience when it was first screened?
4. For whom do you think the film was made?
5. Do you think that the film maker is unbiased towards the events
that she is recording?
6. What are the relationships between the images and the sound track
in the film? (For an example of the importance of music to the
meaning of images, have a look at how Goebbels is portrayed in the
beginning of this documentary)