Written by: Michael Den Boer on December 7th, 2015
BluRay released: December 8th, 2015
Approximate running time: 111 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.19:1 Aspect Ratio / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Sound: DTS HD Mono German
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish, Japanese
BluRay Release: Synapse Films
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: $34.95
In 1934 Paul Joseph Goebbels the Third Reich’s minister of Public Enlightenment would hire filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl to direct a film that revolved around the a Nazi rallying party in Nuremberg. Leni Riefenstahl would spend the next year perfectly piecing together what is now considered the most manipulative propaganda film ever made.
Documentaries are often overlooked as works of art even when they often employee and introduce new technique into the filmmaking media. Every inch of Triumph of Will was meticulously constructed to evoke a certain reaction. The Nazi party who had gained control only a few years before the making of Triumph of the Will quickly learned from past régimes mistakes that they best way to get the public on their side would be through a new powerful media known as motion pictures. Year’s later film has to some extent been replaced by an even more powerful media television which continues on a daily basis to spread propaganda only this time it is sent subtly via the evening and cable news.
History has labeled Leni Riefenstahl a propagandist filmmaker and one has to wonder if this is only because the side she sided with lost. Would she and this film be looked at in a different lit if Germany had won the war. One must also take into consideration that when this film was being made that the war was still fours years away and that no concentration camps had been erected yet. To fully blame Leni Riefenstahl who was unbelievably only thirty three years old when this film was made for what was to follow in Hitler’s rise to power is the easy way out. When creating a film whether it is based on fact or fiction the filmmaker should bear some of the moral responsibility that their creation has spawned.
Suppressing films like Triumph of the Will out of fear that someone might be inspired by what they see is irresponsible since
Triumph of the Will is an important historical documentary that should be seen by as many people as possible instead of
ignoring its existence like so many countries’ have done for so many years.
Triumph of the Will comes on a 50 GB dual layer BluRay. This release has been flagged for progressive playback and the film is presented in its intended 1.19:1 aspect ratio. For this release a brand new 2k transfer has been created from a duplicate 35mm fine grain master. And the end result is another substantial upgrade from Synapse Films that improves upon in every way their previous transfer for this film. Also there are no issues with DNR or compression.
This release comes with one audio option, DTS-HD mono mix in German. There are no issues with background noise or distortion and dialog always comes through clearly. Also included with this release are four subtitle options, English, French, Spanish and Japanese.
All of the extras from Synapse Films previous release have been ported over for this release and the extras are, a booklet with a text essay about Triumph of the Will written by Roy Frumkes. Other extras include a seventeen minute short film also directed Leni Riefenstahl titled ‘Day of Freedom’. This short is essentially a collection of images of armed forces in various battle sequences and while not as powerful as Triumph of the Will it is still a worthy addition to this release. The main extras for this is an audio commentary historian Dr. Anthony R. Santoro who knowledge of the film and his analysis of various images in the film makes for one of the most interesting audio commentaries you will ever listen too. Overall Synapse Films gives Triumph of the Will its strongest audio / video presentation to date.