Masterwork - or vicious propaganda for the master race? Riefenstahl's films haunt the liberal imagination and its belief in the ennobling function of Art. Orchestrated like Triumph of the Will around a historical mass gathering, this record of the 1936 Berlin Olympics is another display of epic showmanship, where documentary information is placed a very poor second to sheerly spectacular effects. Here, though, the human body is eroticised in a paean to physical beauty that suggests how compatible fetishism and fascism can be.
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