The subject of this film, Walter Frentz, was Leni Riefenstahl's chief cameraman and a personal cameraman for Adolf Hitler. The director, Jürgen Stumpfhaus, has woven together interviews with Frentz, excerpts from Frentz's diaries from the '40s and today, and many samples of his work to depict a man who made countless carefully-composed pictures ennobling an inhuman regime. Frentz had his first success with a film about kayaking, which ended up as a supporting program for Robert Flaherty's Nanook of the North. Shortly afterward he worked with Leni Riefenstahl on Triumph of the Will and was her chief cameraman on Olympia. On Riefenstahl's recommendation he became Hitler's personal cameraman, filming military sites to show Hitler conditions there, and filming Hitler, his visitors, and his inner circle at the Reich Chancellery and Hitler's headquarters. (These pictures were also often used in the weekly newsreels.) He was with Hitler almost until the end--this film includes photos of a party in Hitler's bomb shelter taken shortly before Hitler's death. As Frentz's story unfolds, we hear about his craft-- how, for example, he used techniques from his kayaking film to photograph Hitler's motorcade in Triumph of the Will-- and we hear about his encounters with people like Himmler, Speer, and Eva Braun. And throughout we gain insight into a man who seems to feel no guilt because he believes he only reproduced, never produced what he saw. This film has received high praise in Europe. The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, for example, called it an excellent documentary with excellent photography. Frentz emerged from the war with an enormous collection of color photos and film of military installations, dignitaries visiting Hitler, bombed-out German cities, and a vast array of never-before-seen glimpses of the Third Reich. This film includes some of these, and IHF will soon be releasing a film showcasing much more of the Walter Frentz collection. Directed by Jürgen Stumpfhaus.
Color, 61 minutes, English voice-over and commentary.
NTSC Region 0 encoding (Entire World)
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See also Walter Frentz (Book)