In the aftermath of Triumph of the Will, the German military was mad that Leni Riefenstahl didn’t pay it enough attention. It wanted its own film. And so she made Day of Freedom. I had actually never watched a Riefenstahl film before so I can’t compare it to the legendary piece of vile propaganda. What I can say about this is two things. First, it is technically brilliant. Second, as propaganda, it’s really boring. Grant you, I’m not the audience and even in less vile circumstances, watching military war games is not of interest to me. But other than the camera angles, there really wasn’t much to hold my interest here, even if you take out the politics.
I recognize that some might not particularly care for this inclusion in the Film Club. But it is an important piece of film history and I’m not going to shy away from watching reprehensible film because it doesn’t fit my politics. For me, that’s an even better reason to watch it. At least I can say, hey, I think that Riefenstahl was kind of a boring filmmaker in some ways.