Conformity to the Nazi Ideal of Masculinity in Triumph of the Will

Conformity to the Nazi Ideal of Masculinity in Triumph of the Will

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Dr. Leslie Frost English 102 September 26 th , 2007 Conformity to the Nazi Ideal of Masculinity in ‘Triumph of the Will’ Leni Riefenstahl’s film Triumph of the Will engages the viewer with a powerful audiovisual experience. A propaganda film disguised as a documentary, it chronicles the Nazi Party’s first Nuremberg Rally in September 1934. Riefenstahl generates an artificial feeling of unity in the film through the careful manipulation of the camera and footage. The film is saturated with a sense of overwhelming mass support for Hitler that would have discouraged critical thinking and encouraged conformity. Triumph of the Will attempts to convey the idea that through conformity to the Nazi ideal of masculinity, Germany could become strong and powerful once again. Riefenstahl invokes the idea of conformity partially through the use of tracking shots. Several times throughout the film, the camera scans the masses of people to show the numerical superiority of the crowd. This can be seen in the scene where Hitler travels to his hotel through a crowd in a motorcade. Crowds of enthusiastic people line both sides of Hitler and multiple tracking shots show close-ups of their happy faces as they meet their leader. Another example of a tracking shot can be found when we first see the Hitler Youth tents all lined up uniformly in a neat pattern. The camera shows from a distance how everything is
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symmetrical and evenly spaced. For several seconds, the camera slowly moves across the field of tents and it is all the audience can see. These two examples show how Riefenstahl used tracking shots to portray a sense of uniformity and conformity to the Nazi ideals. She used tracking shots because they give the illusion that there are even more people than are shown in the frame. Tracking shots help convey the sense of overwhelming support Hitler had that Riefenstahl wanted to portray. Also, these shots are interspersed with images of
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This note was uploaded on 03/20/2008 for the course ENGL 102 taught by Professor Frost during the Fall '07 term at UNC.

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Conformity to the Nazi Ideal of Masculinity in Triumph of the Will

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