Remapping the World in Film: Fiction and Truth in Nazi Cinema

Carola Daffner

Abstract


The enquiry sheds new light on three blockbusters produced under National Socialism: Leni Riefenstahl's famous propaganda piece Triumph of the Will (1934), Veit Harlan's anti-Semitic hate film Jew Süss (1940) and Josef von Baky's fantasy comedy Münchhausen (1943). In their frequent use of collective imaginative geographies, all three movies approach 'truth' and 'authenticity' via depictions of geographical patterns. My reading of these films popular in the Third Reich highlights the how and why of place manipulation. The article further explores Nazi cinema's complex amalgam of visual aesthetics and geopolitics, yielding possible insights into the regime’s specific contradictions.

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New Readings — ISSN: 13597485

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Published by: Cardiff School of Modern Languages