Riefenstahl's Last Triumph

At 91, the controversial director of Hitler documentaries speaks out in a memoir and a film

In 1925 Leni Riefenstahl walked up to Luis Trenker, star of German mountain movies, and said, "I'm going to be in your next picture." She was a dancer, not an actress -- and not a mountain climber, as the amused star pointed out. "I can do it if I make up my mind to," she asserted. As soon as Trenker's director, Arnold Fanck, saw her photo, he wrote a starring role for her in his next film. She was 23.

For the past 20 years, Riefenstahl has gone scuba diving in some beautiful waters, preparing a video feature she hopes to...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!