BERLIN — Germany’s Odeon Film is planning a biopic on controversial German filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl.
Pic, based on Riefenstahl’s “Memoiren” and a biography by Ernst Juenger, “Stahlgewittern,” is set to go into development next year.
The film will be a collaborative effort with Thomas Schuehly, who has produced such films as “The Name of the Rose,” “The Adventures of Baron Munchausen” and “Der Totmacher.”
Riefenstahl is best known for “Triumph of the Will,” her 1934 doc about Adolf Hitler. Despite the film’s innovations, pic was written off by many as Nazi propaganda.
While Riefenstahl nevertheless enjoyed critical acclaim for her filmmaking, she was shunned in the postwar years as a Nazi sympathizer. She has nevertheless become somewhat of a celebrity in recent years and supports the current project.
In 1938, “Olympiad,” her docu about the 1936 Berlin Olympics, beat out “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” for the Golden Lion in Venice and, not surprisingly, won the Berlin film prize the same year.