Beta Cinema picks up documentary "Riefenstahl" by Andres Veiel

It´s a a revealing look into Hitler's favorite director

29 APR 2024

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Beta Cinema adds an upcoming documentary film from renowned director Andres Veiel ("Black Box BRD", "Beuys, If Not Us, Who?") to its Cannes line-up: "Riefenstahl" is an intimate exploration of the world-famous but controversial filmmaker's legacy, delving deep into her complex relationship with the Nazi regime. With unprecedented access to Riefenstahl's 700-box personal archive, the documentary navigates between her sanitized narrative and incriminating evidence regarding her knowledge of the regime's atrocities.

"Riefenstahl" is produced by Vincent Productions in co-production with WDR, NDR, BR, SWR and rbb. The production is supported by FFA, BKM, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, Filmstiftung NRW, and DFFF. Majestic Filmverleih will release the documentary in the German-speaking territories in Q4 2024. Vincent Productions is helmed by acclaimed tv-journalist Sandra Maischberger, hosting and producing the multi-award-winning political talk-show maischberger on German public television. With "Riefenstahl" Sandra Maischberger concludes a journey that began with her interview with Leni Riefenstahl in 2002.
Andres Veiel is a multi-award-winning writer and director of both feature films and documentaries. His documentary about the aftermath of the RAF terror Black Box Germany was honored with the German Film Award and the European Film Award in 2002. In 2011, he presented the feature film If Not Us, Who? in Competition at the Berlin International Film Festival, winning the Alfred Bauer Award. The film was also nominated for five German Film Awards and brought Sevilla’s Best Actor Award to August Diehl for his leading performance. Andres Veiel returned to the Berlinale in 2018 with his documentary Beuys about the world-famous sculptor and performance artist. The film was sold to more than twenty territories worldwide and its outstanding editing was honored with both the German Film Award in Gold and a Bavarian Film Award. "Riefenstah"l is his most recent work.
Andres Veiel attempted to reflect on the historical figure: "Now as then Riefenstahl’s visual worlds are about triumph. Triumph over doubt, ambivalence, supposed weakness and the imperfect. Thus, looking at the world today, a film about Riefenstahl became an urgent necessity for me. Riefenstahl's extensive legacy, reinterpreted in the light of her private estate, offered the opportunity for a new take on the timeless attraction of imperial greatness and the need for the staging of the trained, perfect and victorious ones, as we see them on the rise today again," stated.

Finally, producer Sandra Maischberger asserts that the film helps understand the beginning of modern methods of mass manipulation: “Leni Riefenstahl's hundred-year history of life and influence is a key to understanding the mechanisms of manipulation that we are currently encountering again. This makes the journey into the depths of her legacy more than a mere cultural-historical exercise. Deciphering her work means to unveil the original sin of film propaganda in order to be able to recognize its resurrection today," commented.