Leni Riefenstahl’s legendary 1935 documentary chronicles the 1934 Nazi party congress in Nuremberg, in which 700,000 Nazi supporters participated. Riefenstahl's film is an important and infamous piece of political propaganda. While considered a landmark moment in the history of “documentary” filmmaking, her work has acquired new meaning in the contemporary political landscape. Michael Moore, for example, was heavily criticized for laying Trump speeches over scenes from Riefenstahl's documentary (in his most recent film, "11/9"), which the Chicago Tribune deemed “cheap, indulgent filmmaking” that was “not funny, not even in a dark way.” However problematic it may be, Moore attempts to establish parallels between the past and the present with the hope of inciting discussion and facing, rather than erasing, difficult questions about the formation and representation of national identity and politics. In keeping with this year's theme, “The Boundaries of Fact and Fiction," we have chosen to open the festival with this film and a discussion of the relationship between truth, fiction, and faction in documentary filmmaking. Please join us at 6:30 pm for a pre-screening lecture about the film by Prof. Marlies Gaettens and a reception hosted by the Dallas Goethe Center.
All Film Festival screenings are free and open to the public and begin at 7 pm in McCord Auditorium (Dallas Hall 306).