A BRAZEN shout from long trumpets held high at the angle of a Hitler salute. Cut to medium close-up of young Aryan faces with puffed cheeks. Dolly back as two new biographies of Leni Riefenstahl appear virtually at once. Jürgen Trimborn’s book, well translated from the German by Edna McCown, has the better pictures. Steven Bach’s book, backed up by his deep personal experience as a high-echelon film executive handling dingbat directors, has the better text. Though neither book is precisely adulatory, put them together and they add up to an awful lot of attention. She might be dead, but she won’t lie down.
The same was true for much of the time she was still alive. Born in 1902, she lived for more than a hundred years. In less than half that time, she acquired a brilliant reputation. But she had to spend the rest of her life mounting a posthumous defense of it.
more from the NY Times Book Review here.