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...

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