Leni Riefenstahl, "Hitler's filmmaker", remains one of the most controversial figures of the 20th century. Susan Sontag, though one of her severest critics, said that Triumph of the Will and Olympia, Riefenstahl's most noted films, "may be the two greatest documentaries ever made". Others see her story as an object lesson about opportunism: the story of an ambitious narcissist and unrepentant Nazi sympathizer whose glorifications of Hitler and the Third Reich helped pave the way for the horrors of World War II and the Holocaust. Bach lets the facts speak for themselves, including many newly uncovered, and the facts are rarely kind to Riefenstahl.
We see Riefenstahl at the age of 100 as someone who could face the cameras to announce that, as a member of Greenpeace, she mourned the fates of sea creatures that die in transport from their native habitats to the aquariums of the world, but could not express remorse for the millions of Jews, gypsies, and others murdered by the Third Reich and the Fuhrer she elevated to myth.