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Publisher's Summary

Leni Riefenstahl, "Hitler's filmmaker", remains one of the most controversial figures of the 20th century. Susan Sontag, though one of her severest critics, said that Triumph of the Will and Olympia, Riefenstahl's most noted films, "may be the two greatest documentaries ever made". Others see her story as an object lesson about opportunism: the story of an ambitious narcissist and unrepentant Nazi sympathizer whose glorifications of Hitler and the Third Reich helped pave the way for the horrors of World War II and the Holocaust. Bach lets the facts speak for themselves, including many newly uncovered, and the facts are rarely kind to Riefenstahl.

We see Riefenstahl at the age of 100 as someone who could face the cameras to announce that, as a member of Greenpeace, she mourned the fates of sea creatures that die in transport from their native habitats to the aquariums of the world, but could not express remorse for the millions of Jews, gypsies, and others murdered by the Third Reich and the Fuhrer she elevated to myth.

© and (P)2005 Phoenix Audio

Critic Reviews

"A lively, incisive look at a compelling and somewhat appalling figure who demonstrated that beauty isn't always truth." (Publishers Weekly)

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  • Overall
  • A User
  • Frederick, MD, United States
  • 06-13-07

Good book bad narrator

I liked the book but I had trouble with the narrator. I am not sure what type of accent she has or if she has any training for speaking but it seemed to me she was awful. I struggled to understand her in some places and she mispronounces many common english words. She detracts from the story. I am not sure what qualifications she brought to the job as at least as an english speaker she is lacking.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Erik
  • Short Hills, NJ, USA
  • 05-07-07

Disappointing Narrator

I was looking forward to this audio release after seeing positive reviews of the book. After several hours of listening, I find the book to be interesting but the quality of the narration to be terrible. The reader, Henrietta Tiefenthaler, is by a wide margin the single the weakest reader I've heard (and I've listened to more than a hundred titles). Her voice sounds entirely untrained, words are mispronounced, and it often sounds like the reader can't "get her mouth fully around the words". A big disappointment -- listen to an excerpt before purchasing if you can.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

LISTEND TO THE FIRST 3 MINUTES AND HAD ENOUGH

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

A deaf person may enjoy this book..

Would you recommend Leni to your friends? Why or why not?

horrible narrator with accent too harsh for a long book..

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Henrietta Tiefenthaler?

she is horrible.

Any additional comments?

Avoid this book

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Leni biography

For years I wanted to know more about her life every since I saw her life story on the show Biography . This book answered all of my questions . Mrs Tiefenthalet performance was wonderful .

  • Overall
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I Don't Know Who This Book Is Written For

What would have made Leni better?

Different narrator, better audio production, better book

What was most disappointing about Steven Bach’s story?

This book is really strange because if you are a fan of Leni's films it doesn't talk much about them, if you are a fan of the women it definitely paints her in a (deservedly) bad light, If you are a fan of a story of a driven woman succeeding in a business and time when women didn't/ couldn't do that this story will disappoint.<br/><br/> I read this in a class and one fellow student summarized a missed chapter perfectly with "lemme guess, Leni is mean to a bunch of people, she raises her stock by sleeping with someone, she uses her connection to Hitler to get what she wants THE END." We read the chapter and that was basically what happened! Leni is not a person I want to read about and even the interesting content about post WWI Germany that continues through the fall of the Third Reich couldn't save this book for me. <br/><br/>Terrible main character aside the author tries to hard to make every sentence sound like shakespeare and it comes off as arrogant and it sometimes makes facts hard to completely digest. All in all this book was hard to read and I can't think of who this book was written for.

Would you be willing to try another one of Henrietta Tiefenthaler’s performances?

No...just...no.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Leni?

That's very hard because as much as I did not like the book I could see that maybe someone might. I think everything in there is required material to paint the picture the author is trying to show.

Any additional comments?

I don't want to seem like just some angry reviewer but honestly this book was hated by everyone I knew who read it and I would not recommend it to anyone.