leni riefenstahl has died yesterday, aged 101. politically controversial, but a brilliant and innovative film maker.

most people only know her for her propaganda films ‘olympia’ and ‘triumph des willens’, of which she always stated that she only made them out of artistic interest, without being involved in nazi politics, which is hard to believe, or she must have been very naive. by the way, before the second world war she won various of the highest awards for these movies at european film festivals like paris and venice. after the war though these films kept on haunting her, but she refused to take any blame.

she has done more in her career though. her first movie as an actress was ‘der heilige berg’ in 1926, after which she played in various box office hits. in 1932 she directed her first movie, ‘das blaue licht’. after the war she wasn’t able to do substantial projects for a long time, because of her notorious reputation, although she wasn’t ever legally punished. but in the 70’s she gained attraction and admiration for her photography work about tribes in africa, and later, already at a respectable age, she devoted herself to underwater filming. i’m afraid though that history will only remember a few selected works from her oeuvre…