Author & Film Producer
Steven Bach, biographer, scholar and former film studio executive is the author of a revelatory new biography of Leni Riefenstahl, the Nazi propagandist, influential film stylist, and pioneering female director. Riefenstahl died in 2003 at the age of 101; to the very end of her life, she attempted to minimize and explain away her complicity with the Nazi regime. "Leni: The Life and Work of Leni Riefenstahl" (2007) dismantles Riefenstahl's contention that she was an apolitical artist who did not understand the scope of Nazi crimes. The author draws on newly-available primary sources, as well as exclusive interviews with Riefenstahl's colleagues and friends.
"a lively, incisive look at a compelling and somewhat appalling figure who demonstrated that beauty isn't always truth." - "Publishers Weekly"
"finally presents Riefenstahl as she genuinely was: not as we have seen her so far but as Hitler's self-serving and mendacious p.r. handmaiden." - Cynthia Ozick
The book's many revelations include Riefenstahl's passionate enthusiasm for Hitler from her first reading of "Mein Kampf"; her close and supportive working relationships with a variety of Nazi leaders; her role as a silent eyewitness to wartime atrocities against Jews; and her use of slave labor in the form of concentration camp Gypsies destined for Auschwitz. Bach also chronicles Riefenstahl's postwar efforts, through lawsuits and misleading memoirs, to downplay or suppress these facts.
"The finest picture-star biography I have ever read." - Peter Bogdanovich, "Los Angeles Times" (on Dietrich book)
"A bountifully entertaining biography… a bonanza for the perpetually famished acolytes of show-biz lore and dish." - Jan Stuart, "Newsday" (Moss Hart book)
"One of the few indispensable books about Hollywood." - "Newsday"
For additional information, contact the Writers Institute at 518-442-5620 or online at http://www.albany.edu/writers-inst.