Triumph of the will is a 1934 Nazi propaganda film directed by Leni Reifenstal. It chronicles the 1934 Nazi party congress in Nuremberg, and remains one of the most accalimed political propaganda film of all times. Throughout the film, the Nazy party is painted as a party of power and unity,thau is inspiring patriotism. The sole purpose of the movie is to glorify Hitler and his party and mobilize the whole country to join the Nazi movement. Therefore it was imperative to make him look God-like, strong powerful and leader of a new germany of solidarity.
Ironically, he chose Leni ,a woman director to lead this task and gave her unlimited budget and access to achieve a satisfying result. The film opens with an aerial travelling scene through the fog and clouds and gorgeous sky, opening up like heaven over quaint red roofs and lush, rolling green hills. The viewer might even imagine he or she is flying, gliding over the picturesque towns that he or she is suddenly so proud of. The towns, the cathedral towers, the flowing German flag all display something a heritage and a custom that a german citizen can identify with.
Upon arriving at the airport, Hitler and the other nazi leaders emerge from the plane to thunderous applauses. Hitler appears dominant and imposing and filling up the screen thanks to low-level shots. Traveling by airplane in itself is a testament of power since in the 1930s flying was a luxury reserved to only few people. Hitler was the driven to his hotel through street filled with men women and children. This entire scene shows just how powerful and commanding Hitler appears.
It is as if everyone gathered to witness the descending of the savior from the heavens. The second day shows the preparations for the opening of the congress, including the arrival of top Nazi officials. The film then cuts to the opening ceremony where the nazi hierarchy is introduced. Majors speeches are made. Among the themes presented, the desire for pride in Germany and the purification of the German people is well exemplified through the speeches. pride power and unity are the major focuses.
Hitler advocates to the people that they should not be satisfied with their current state and they should not be satisfied with the descent from power and greatness Germany has endured since World War I. The German people should believe in themselves and the movement that is occurring in Germany. Hitler promotes pride in Germany through the unification of it. Unifying Germany would force the elimination of what does not amount to the standards of the Nazi regime. To unify Germany, Hitler believes purification would have to take place.
This meant not only eliminating the citizens of Germany who are not of the Aryan race, but the sick, weak, handicapped, or any other citizens deemed unhealthy or impure. In Triumph, Hitler preaches to the people that Germany must take a look at itself and seek out that which does not belong: “[T]he elements that have become bad, and therefore do not belong with us! ” The elimination of the ‘inferior’ people of Germany would, in theory, return Germany to its once prideful and powerful former self. He stresses the importance of purification and the effects of what happens when purification does not take place.
These standards and regulations of the Nazi Party would underline the racial injustices suffered throughout the rest of the Nazi reign in Germany. He preaches to the people in his speeches that they should believe in their country and themselves. The German people are better than what they have become because of the impurities in society. Hitler wants them to believe in him and believe what he wants to do forhis people, and what he is doing is for the country’s and people’s benefit. Hess says in the last scene of Triumph, “Heil Hitler, hail victory, hail victory! ” Everyone in attendance yells in support.
This verbal sign represents their faith to their leader and his most trusted advisors that they believe in the Nazi cause. This is directly following Hitler’s yell, “Long live the National Socialist Movement! Long live Germany! ” and the crowd erupts with cheering and the fulfillment of pride for themselves and their political party. The rage, force, and power shown by the shots and angles of the film throughout his speeches once again amplifies Hitler’s domination of Germany Another aspect of unity illustrated in the movie happens on the third day with the german youth camp.
It depicts young service men united together, showering laughing and playing around. Unity is also represented through physical similarities (same dress code and haircut). Speaking to these young men, Hitler talks about strenght, courage and sacrifice. The passion with with he delivers his speeches is so inspiring and moving. This aesthetic principle is important because it makes people believe in him. He is promoting the idea that Germany is a premier nation and will work together to be an elite country in the world.
Any young boy would be more than willing to follow this lead, especially with the passion and strength that is portrayed throughout the speech. Throughout the rest of the film, Hitler speaks in bold, uplifting segments. He speaks to children, to soldiers, and to townsfolk, reinforcing and encouraging their loyalty and promising them that Germany is the one true and just nation. Other Nazi officials, generals, politicians, Speak on Hitler’s behalf. They back him up, they build him higher, and they support his laws.
By the end of the film, one cannot help but want to hoist up a flag and hail the great and happy nation that is GermanyHitler and the Nazi party were able to use this film as a building block for expandingthe Nazi party. The viewer was able to see thousands of people in support of a unified movement that promised success, health, strength, and unity. The film was very affective in doing so and helped lead to growth of the movement. As epic pointed out, Hitler’s supposed objective was to unite the German people, in order to restore their great heritage and traditions.
However to me it seemed like people weren’t so much celebrating their nationalism as much as they were simply paying homage to their great dictator. It seemed to me that the Nazi party identified themselves more as a collective of people under a common leader than a common state. Not to say that the state is ignored, it just seems to be less emphasized, or is made virtually synonymous with Hitler. This only further demonstrates the people allegiance to the historic figurehead.