the complete original version

DVD - 2006 | German
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Pt. 1. After being commissioned by the 1936 Olympic Committee to create a feature film of the Berlin Olympics, Riefenstahl shot a documentary that celebrates the human body by combining the poetry of bodies in motion with close-ups of athletes in the heat of competition. Includes the marathon, men's diving, and American track star Jesse Owen's sprint races at the 1936 Olympic games. The production tends to glorify the young male body and, some say, expresses the Nazi attitude toward athletic prowess. Includes the lighting of the torch at the stadium and Adolf Hitler looking on in amazement as Jesse Owens wins an unprecedented four Gold Medals.
Pt. 2. The production tends to glorify the young male body and, some say, expresses the Nazi attitude toward athletic prowess. Miss Riefenstahl captures the grace of athletes during field hockey, soccer, bicycling, equestrian, aquatic and gymnastic events. Highlights are the Pentathlon and the Decathlon, which was won by American Glenn Morris; it ends with the triumphant conclusion of the games.


From Library Staff

Leni Riefenstahl made very powerful propaganda films for the Nazis. This is her film of the 1936 Olympics. It includes the 8 man rowing race.

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Feb 22, 2019

This high-quality sports documentary, photographed in stark b&w by Leni Riefenstahl, features all of the glorious highlights that took place at the 1936 Summer Olympic Games held in Berlin, Germany.

It also features Nazi Leader, Adolf Hitler as he officially proclaims the Games open, as well as footage of Hitler, all decked out in Nazi uniform (swastikas included) saluting the athletes at the opening ceremonies - And, later, Hitler sitting with his buddies, laughing and smiling and cheering his beloved Germany on to victory.

Besides that, this production also includes several "fantasy" sequences that, presented like some sort of a slow-motion ballet, display completely nude male and female figures.

All-in-all - Olympia was certainly well-worth as view.

Oct 12, 2014

Leni Riefenstahl was part of Hitler's essential propaganda team. Amazing in her tenacity to create film the way she wanted it, she used groundbreaking methods. I am looking forward to seeing the film after just finishing Daniel James Brown's page-turning account of the US crew win in Berlin's 1936 Olympics in "The Boys in the Boat." I want to see that amazing finish!


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