In Olympia Part II – Festival of Beauty, Leni Riefenstahl focused more on the athletic forms being presented rather than the specific events themselves. The film is edited into sequences that are separated by fades to black and then a fade in to the next sequence. Each of these sequences has its unique sounds and music and shows related events in a stylized rhythm. By time the film draws to a close, most of the events at the 1936 Berlin Olympiad have been given the cinematic treatment in their own way. As with Part I, this film contradicts the many popular notions about the Third Reich and, in great contrast to those notions, it’s a remarkably positive experience in addition to being a landmark work of cinematic art with its use of music, editing, and composition.
The intentions of the NSDAP have post-WW2 been interpreted as unspeakably evil to the point of comical. For a long time, the Allied/Soviet/Zionist allegations causing shock and disgust about Third Reich have covered up for the stupid that they carried. Yet, there have always been proponents of a more truthful look at the NSDAP, Adolf Hitler, Joseph Goebbels, and the whole of the great experiment that so beautifully wove both nationalism’s and socialism’s more positive aspects into a cohesive unit, one that sparked the ire of traditionalists and materialists in all of the Western world, yet also gained loyalists worldwide. They were silenced by the war, yet by the 1950s, the proponents of a rational and non-dogmatic approach once again included people worldwide, thus the universal human improvement through struggle doctrine propagated by the NSDAP hadn’t been totally squashed within the Soviet Gulag and Western High Finance, even if the Third Reich itself was ash and dust. It’s spirit and select portions of its materials, such as this film, may still be examined.
Beauty via Idealism
The film opens as life began, in water. Oak leaves are reflected and soon we see athletes jogging through nature. A couple interesting ideas are shown right away. One, oak leaves were used in the rank insignia of the SS. Two, there is no urban or technological imagery despite Germany’s massive economic recovery under the NSDAP that made these Olympic Games possible. Three, the athletes are shown jogging through a stream, thus not just with nature, but also against it with the goal of ultimately transcending it. Next, we see the same people in a sauna and bathing in the nude, yet there is none of the machismo that modern audiences (including neo-Nazis) have come to falsely associate with the NSDAP, SS, and Aryan Race. Compare this scene in Olympia to a modern Hollywood movie such as Red Heat, which also has an early scene in a sauna, yet is packed with so many over-the-top, gym-forged, hulking muscles (and doll-like women) it’s hard to believe that those characters do anything other than mind their outward appearance. Perhaps that’s an indicator of where civilization headed after the triumph of the symbiotic systems of Capitalism and Communism.
Back in Olympia, we get a wipe transition and to a scene with athletes from three particular countries – Germany, Italy, and Japan – the Axis powers, or the major countries to challenge the dichotomy of Communism and Capitalism during the decade in which the film was made. Thus, within minutes of the opening, the film covers another kind of idealism: international cooperation. Festival of Folks focused on the competitive events of the Olympic Games, and while Festival of Beauty includes these in a way, the focus of this film is thematic imagery related to NSDAP ideology. The opening sequence of the film builds up to a training montage showcasing athletes from many nations where one of the film’s themes can be seen – the cooperative struggle for beauty. As with Olympia Part I, many non-Europeans are shown throughout the film, and so effectively negating the supposed purely pro-European propaganda of the NSDAP and showing its true form, which is much closer to a universal human beauty with its many forms from all over the world. This is best shown by the very first slow motion shot of the film, a panning shot of a Japanese high jumper. Also of note is that flags are almost a purely background image throughout the film and the flag of the Third Reich doesn’t even appear in a major shot throughout the entire film, yet the American flag does!
The idealism of the athletic body here is clearly seen in the Pommel Horse sequence with slow motion highlighting the grace of the refined movements that are held on camera for around 25 seconds for three different athletes. They almost seem to be floating in the air. This is followed by three more on the same device, yet this time the background changes from including the audience stands, to including more sky, and finally just sky – an angelic idealism very far removed from Freudian materialism and barbaric machismo.
Roughly 11 minutes in we see a very long and unbroken shot, nearly 90 seconds, of an athlete on the hanging rings, which ends with the gymnast legs up and arms outstretched. The shot then jump cuts to an athlete in matching position on the parallel bars, and this shot holds for just over 76 seconds and ends as this gymnast flips over the bars and lands on the ground. Then, just as he’s straightening himself up into the final finishing pose, the film jump cuts to yet another gymnast also in a matching position, this time on the horizontal bar. All three competitors are shown in slow motion at a similar speed. These precisely sequenced, composed, and edited shots suggest a transcendence of the idealized form from event to event and from athlete to athlete. The accompanying music punctuates and underscores their motion with its own rhythmic perfection going along with the onscreen gymnasts’ movements. Thus, many athletes from many nations are shown in a universal form transcending conventional boundaries and achieving a perfected form that’s seen in crisp detail thanks to its masterful capture on film with accompanying music.
This is the union of perfect physical and cinematic forms with movement and rhythm, as aspects of each, being used to create this perfection – a forging of transcendence.
Festival of Beauty, indeed.
Right around the half-hour mark women’s exercises are shown, this is the first time women are given a primary place on screen and it’s a large display of synchronized unity. This shot cross dissolves with a wide pan of the stadium grounds and transitions to an aerial shot of the stadium packed with spectators. It is here that the Decathlon, a classic competition of military arts, is introduced. Interestingly, in the German word for this event is “Zehnkampf” and while the English subtitles often read “the test of tests,” the onscreen announcer says “Der Kampf der Kämpfe,” which would be more appropriately rendered “the struggle of struggles” in English. Alternatively, it could be said as “the feat of feats” as the meaning of the Greek suffix “athlon” is “feat,” suggesting a heroic accomplishment. And thus we see a parallel between athletic mastery and the philosophy of National Socialism – it’s not just shows of strength and superficial bodybuilding, it is grace and achievement and here we see it conveyed through the film’s main theme: The Struggle of Life shown through the idealized athletic form.
This is shown again with the women’s diving competition. There is slow motion to capture the grace of the athletic form from diving board through the downward tracking angle until the plunge into water. The sequence is shot from below the diving board and from above. There are even shots underwater that show the athletes creating an angelic veil of bubbles as they enter the water. The whole diving sequence include culminates in a dream-like montage that even includes a backwards shot of a diver rising up back toward the diving board, however it’s shot upside down so it looks like a regular dive. Riefenstahl shows grace and beauty at work from every angle.
A Bit of Patriotism
This film is the product of a regime that has been accused of the worst kind of patriotism, the kind that today’s ethno-nationalists are said to exalt as the genesis of their ideas. Odd then, that this film, one of the NSDAP’s hallmark pieces of propaganda, is remarkably light on things that could be labeled as “Germanism,” “Nordicism,” or “White Nationalism.” As with Olympia Part 1, today’s Zionists & white nationalists must confusedly scratch their heads upon watching this film, as nearly everything they say about the Third Reich is not present in these two films. This also goes for Triumph of the Will.
There is a brief rendition of the opening of the NSDAP anthem Die Fahne Hoch, as the first musical verse plays. The name of this musical piece translate as “The Flag up High” and immediately after hearing it, the film cuts to the opening procession of national flags that enter the stadium. A key moment occurs at the start of the sailing sequence just before the 15-minute mark when the Olympic Rings are show as well as the film’s first spoken audio is heard as the announcer introduces the sailing events. Here, even more flags of the various flags of all the competing nations are show together. Given Hitler’s extensive attempts at negotiation throughout the 1930s, a whole garden of facts covered up from official historiography, then it’s not a surprise that a primary source about the Third Reich, also largely eschewed from official historiography, would have a prominent theme of idealized international cooperation.
In the first sailing event, a Dutch winner is announced, while a German wins the second. The third sailing event, once again, showcases Riefenstahl’s poetic vision and pioneering film art with a sailing montage with music, waves, and a many shots from various angles that must have been quite difficult to set up ad shoot with the 1930’s bulky film cameras. It’s a short sequence, though in it is we see, once again, both cinema and sport come together in an idealized form with time, imagery, and music. On top of that, the winner of the third sailing even is from England. Immediately following this is a fencing match shown entirely by showing the duelists’ shadows on the ground from several angles that steadily rise up before cutting the result: a Hungarian wins. Both fencers shake hands in a close-up: the spirit of athleticism and the honorable duel.
The same happens in the boxing sequence with a German winner who briefly bro hugs with his Argentine opponent.
That said, the film being a German film, it does set aside some scenes to praise the accomplishments of its country’s winning competitors. The Modern Pentathlon was held at the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games and the winner was Luftwaffe Lieutenant Gotthard Handrick, the first German gold medalist in the event, and the second ever German to get any medal in this competition. At that point, the event had been dominated by Sweden in since its establishment in 1912. Thus, as with Germany’s rise to prosperity under the NSDAP, Handrick’s victory is shown as symbolic of Germany’s return to prominence and achievement. The III Reich anthem plays as he receives his medal with a salute in the impeccable German military uniform.
Additionally, Italian First Lieutenant Silvano Abba, the bronze medal winner, also gives the Roman Salute during the medal ceremony. Thought, the scene fades out on a close up of the American competitor, Charles Leonard, thus Riefenstahl seems to be more interested in giving each athlete a good amount of screen time, not just German grandeur. It’s a remarkably humble and inclusive patriotism that both parts of Olympia portray. In fact, just after the 37-minute mark, as American athlete Glenn Morris launches his shot put, the crowd can be heard chanting “USA! USA!” in the background. This was recorded, edited in, and approved by both Adolf Hitler and Joseph Goebbels before the film’s release, thus it seems strange to accuse them of blatant Germanic supremacy. Also take note that this film is not routinely, if at all, shown in film studies or in historic courses that discuss the Third Reich.
They very well might be, as it’s hard to believe that this film then shows Morris win the high jump and the 400-meter run with a huge lead. Then, the Decathlon comes to its finish with Morris being the clear winner, the US Anthem playing, and this is the shot Riefenstahl dedicated for that moment!
There is no equivalent shot of a victorious German athlete with the Third Reich’s iconic Swastika flag and they would have you believe that this is a “Nazi propaganda” film! It’s propaganda all right, however it’s about universal ideals. Thus, as with Jesse Owens in Olympia Part I, Riefenstahl chose the competitor she thought best fits those ideals. Owens’s victories were record breaking and great, as was Morris’s Decathlon, hence they get the most honored screen time in Olympia Parts I & II.
Film & Intent
From just one viewing of this film, the most common approach for the average filmgoer, we can see that the NSDAP presented its ideals much differently than has been interpreted by Allied/Soviet/Zionist post-WW2 propaganda & historiography. This Nietzschean outlook of “there are no facts, only interpretation” has certainly helped these forces shape the world, however upon examinations such as ones presented in Riefenstahl’s film, also known as “official NSDAP propaganda,” we can see a divergence in intent. The Third Reich focused on an overall positive portrayal of its powerful ideals, while its opponents sought to vilify those very things at every turn. Things like Superman, Captain America, Wonder Woman, and others were started as propaganda comics aimed at demonizing the Third Reich. Hence, Allied/Soviet/Zionist propaganda had a negative focus, while National Socialist propaganda had a positive one. On the surface, the American Propaganda Comics have had the status of their worldview transition from pre-emptive war fervor to normalization. Hence, anything deemed even remotely “Nazi” still causes very frequently such huge surges in violent emotion as intended by the establishment.
Soviet propaganda, in particular, began this way. The first major cinematic piece of Soviet propaganda film is the film Battleship Potemkin by Sergei Eisenstein, a secular Jew who nonetheless followed in the footsteps of his tribe’s penchant for emotionalism. Following the old Jewish tales of obsessive martyrdom, he continued this for a general Russian audience with a general Russian martyrdom at the hand of the Russian Monarch whom he vilified. This was essentially the same process, albeit in a different context, as the aforementioned American Propaganda Comics, also created largely by secular Jews. Eisenstein’s film theory created what is known as Soviet Montage, which is “the editing of clips or photos together in order to get a certain point across. The goal of Soviet montage is to create an idea which is clearer when all the images are viewed together than when they are viewed separately.” This is age-old Jewish pathos, or appeal to emotion, fused with propaganda. In Judaism (as with related religions) & Communism, the enemies of the system are shown doing negative things to those who support it, thus rallying support for the cause. This is negativist propaganda. Judaism needs an Amalek just as badly as Communism needs a Hitler just as all Materialist systems need an “other” to sound an eternal war cry against. Whether it’s hate the goyim, hate the rich, or the higher educated, materialism just needs something to hate.
This is in stark contrast to Leni Riefenstahl’s films that show the potential champions of the National Socialist system performing positive feats with there being no need to mention enemies since they are not to be identified with it. This is positivist propaganda. National Socialism and Aryanism and all idealist systems focus on the goals they wish to achieve as a rallying call in effort to bring people together.
“In order to carry the idea of the People’s State to victory, a popular party had to be founded, a party that did not consist of intellectual leaders only, but also of manual laborers.” ~Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf
“The movement must use all possible means to cultivate respect for the individual personality. It must never forget that all human values are based on personal values, and that every idea and achievement is the fruit of the creative power of one man. We must never forget that admiration for everything that is great is not only a tribute to one creative personality but that all those who feel such admiration become thereby united under one covenant.” ~Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf
The film shows this in what we could call “Aryan Montage” or “the editing of clips or photos together in order to inspire the viewer with positivism.” The athletic sequences shown in this film are sure worthy of the name and description. One can only revel and wonder what Riefenstahl and artists she inspired would dream, draw, and direct next.
Aside from the wipe transitions (Star Wars, you can thank “the Nazis” any day now), training montages with uplifting music (Rocky, you too), we also get the climatic slow motion shot. During the field hockey sequence between India and Germany we can see the origin (as it’s seen in blockbusters, at least) of the action movie slow motion shot of a key, sequence-ending moment. In one shot, the ball is launched, bounces off of the goal keeper’s foot, then off of a field hockey stick, then flies over the goalkeeper’s outstretched hand, which bounces it back out towards the field, only to be bounced back towards the goal, before landing on the ground as the players vie for it at each other’s feet, however just then the referee blows the whistle as inadvertent close quarters pushing starts with too many players around the goal. Ah, the tense last second save. It’s been done with grenades flying to their target, bombs falling, cars flipping. Yet, the NSDAP, a regime that’s been vilified endlessly for its militarism, co-sponsored its creation with a field hockey ball in a sequence about sports and athletic idealism. Go figure. Soon after we get one of those wipe transitions, formatted diagonally to match a soccer team entering the field for a game.
With such ideas guiding the way, class cooperation and international cooperation outside of high finance, it is then no surprise that the USSR boycotted the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games along with Spain, which was at the time choked by Communism. Today’s followers of Antifa are woefully or willfully (either way like good golems) ignorant of their organization’s origins when they preach social unity and “human well-being.”
The film’s final sports event is a diving sequence, which ends with the diver composed against the sky and dissolving into it: Transcendence. Next, there is a shot of the Olympic Bell together with close-dissolved footage of the Olympic Stadium with their respective circular shapes matching up. Next, the Olympic Torch is seen burning as lights aim up to the sky, form a massive cone, with the bell and Olympic torch framed within them. The light beams match the bell shown moments before and now the corporeal matches the ethereal, ideals guide materials and not vice versa. Spear-like flagpoles appear onscreen matching the large light beams, again material matching ideal. These various national flags are each given an Olympic Wreath before the film finally displays finally the Olympic flag, the one that united them all. Behind this flag are the Stadium Lights, which are next shown behind the Olympic Torch that for now goes out. However, with the music swelling, the light beams point up towards the heavens and unite in a Sun-like image, the Solar Ideal for a Solar Civilization; truly one of the most uplifting moments on all of cinematic history. On a big screen with surround sound for the full orchestral score, a viewing of this scene must be positively mesmerizing.
Combine those idealist aspects with Olympia’s relatively humble patriotism, a patriotism based on deeds rather than outward show, and you get something that today’s Hollywood directors such as Steven Spielberg & Michael Bay, both Jews, can’t ever or simply don’t want to recreate, instead resorting to either cheap sentimentality or overblown adrenaline in their “pro-American” films. Olympia Parts I & II both show a more beautiful and honest 1930s patriotism & nationalism than the American films and government of that, and unfortunately also this, era. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, leader of the “free world,” ignored Jesse Owens in the same year he was featured prominently in Olympia Part I – Festival of Folks.
Lastly, it’s not only Idealism that is part of National Socialist and Aryanist philosophy. Rather both have a focus on Idealism over the material aspects of life. This is in contrast to Capitalist and Communism that almost exclusively subject themselves to Materialism and simply promote different management systems for material goods with any Ideals many rows back, if present at all.
Watch the Film: Olympia Part II on YouTube