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Monday, 7 January, 2002, 12:31 GMT
Hitler's filmmaker to release new film
Leni Riefenstahl took up scuba diving at the age of 71
Leni Riefenstahl took up scuba diving at the age of 71
German filmmaker and photographer Leni Riefenstahl is poised to release a new film - her first in 48 years - in time for her 100th birthday on 22 August.

Riefenstahl, who is notorious for her Nazi propaganda film Triumph of the Will, has produced a 45-minute-long feature on underwater life in the Indian Ocean.

The film is mostly shot around Papua, New Guinea, and is made up of footage taken between the mid-1970s and 2000, she tells German cultural body the Goethe Institut.

Italian-born producer Giorgio Moroder is composing the music, she says in an interview published in the German broadsheet newspaper Die Welt.

Hitler got Riefenstahl to film the Berlin Olympics
Hitler got Riefenstahl to film the Berlin Olympics
Riefenshtahl told Goethe Institut president Hilmar Hoffman: "The last time I dived was the year before last.

"I made more than 2,000 dives for this film."

"Impressionen unter Wasser [Impressions under Water] is already edited - my friend Horst Kettner has taken wonderful pictures.

"The film will have its cinema première in time for my 100th birthday, in August."

Impressionen unter Wasser follows the publication of two volumes of Riefenstahl's underwater photography, Korallengärten (Coral Gardens), in 1978, and Wunder unter Wasser (Wonder unter Wasser), in 1990.

Nazi rally

Born in Berlin in 1902, Riefenstahl, a former dancer and actress, turned to directing in the early 1930s.

She made a feature film, The Blue Light, whose fans included Hitler, then a rising star in German politics.

In the spring of 1932, she was summoned by the Nazi leader to a resort on the Baltic coast and commissioned to make propaganda movies.

She made Triumph of the Will - a film of a Nazi party rally in Nuremberg, in 1934 - and filmed the 1936 Berlin Olympics.

Riefenstahl has always denied she was a member of the Nazi Party - she was twice cleared by tribunals after World War II - and claims that she was uninterested in politics.


Die Welt said her next big project is a film autiobiography, scheduled for release in 2003, in which the fimmaker will be played by US actress Jodie Foster.

The film is said to be already in production.

Riefenstahl's musical collaborator on Impressionen unter Wasser, Giorgio Moroder, is perhaps best known for setting the 1983 hit film Flashdance to music.

He was also a leading light so-called Euro-disco scene of the 1970s, producing international hit records including Donna Summer's I Feel Love.

See also:

23 Oct 00 | Entertainment
The five lives of Leni Riefenstahl
01 Mar 00 | Europe
Riefenstahl in plane crash
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