We begin by looking at two very different examples of
propaganda film produced in Nazi Germany: Triumph of the Will and
Hitlerjunge Quex. Extracts from both of these will be shown
in class and you can also view short extracts on the links below.
Triumph of the Will
Leni Riefenstahl's Triumph of the Willis
still regarded by most film critics as one of the most important
films of the 20th century. The following links are short extracts of
famous scenes from the film. For
example, the opening
shows the highly symbolic airplane descending from the clouds over Nuremberg
carrying Hitler the 'saviour' of the German people. Despite being a blatant celebration of the ideals of Nazism, it is
admired for its technique and power. It also raises difficult
questions about the role of art and the artist in a 'totalitarian'
society. (more) See also these extension questions
about the relationship between art and propaganda.
Quex was one of the few commercially successful pieces of direct
Nazi propaganda and should be regarded as the model for your own
film. In this final scene, Heini, the Hitler Youth hero
dies after being attacked by the Communists. Of the film Goebbels
said, 'If Hitler Youth Quex represents the first large-scale
attempt to depict the ideas and world of National Socialism with the
art of cinema, then one must say that this attempt, given the
possibilities of modern technology, is a full-fledged success'. (more)