Ice Cold Passion – Leni Riefenstahl and Arnold Fanck between Hitler and Hollywood

She is the most radical and controversial artist of the 20th century – Leni Riefenstahl. He is the inventor of the mountain film, camera designer and film avant-gardist of the 20s – Arnold Fanck. In May 1932, both board a ship and depart on a five-month film-making voyage to Greenland. Their mission is the first ever German-American feature film production: “SOS Eisberg”. It’s the hitherto riskiest and most expensive film project in history.


Ice Cold Passion – Leni Riefenstahl and Arnold Fanck between Hitler and Hollywood

She is the most radical and controversial artist of the 20th century – Leni Riefenstahl. He is the inventor of the mountain film, camera designer and film avant-gardist of the 20s – Arnold Fanck. In May 1932, both board a ship and depart on a five-month film-making voyage to Greenland. Their mission is the first ever German-American feature film production: “SOS Eisberg”. It’s the hitherto riskiest and most expensive film project in history.

In the double biography “Ice Cold Passion – Leni Riefenstahl and Arnold Fanck between Hitler and Hollywood”, Annette Baumeister puts together the unknown picture of two closely interlinked careers. The spectacular and life-threatening filming process of “SOS Iceberg” forms the frame of the film, which then deepens to the bottom of the passionate relationship between Fanck and Riefenstahl. While Fancks career crashes after “SOS Eisberg”, Riefenstahl’s career sets off with the Nazis taking over in 1933 – the cooly calculated rise at the expense of her mentor Fanck? The documentary shows excerpts from the greatest films of Fanck’s and Riefenstahl’s, such as “The White Hell of Pitz Palu” (1929) or “Storm over Mont Blanc” (1930). Reinhold Messner, Willy Bogner and Fanck’s grandson, Matthias Fanck, talk about the pioneering innovations of Fanck’s mountain films. Experts (Karin Wieland and Lutz Kinkel) describe the work and life of the “Aesthete of the Absolutely Beautiful” (Süddeutsche Zeitung) and put it in a new light. The deconstruction of the myth surrounding Riefenstahl is at the same time an overdue tribute to the nowadays almost forgotten film pioneer Arnold Fanck.

Author & Director: Annette Baumeister

Production Manager: Lilly Hartmann
Production Assistance: Rebecca Zaubel

Producer: Fabian Motz
Associate Producer: Paul Wiederhold
Production Assistance: Zarah Schrade

DoP: Johannes Straub
Camera Assistance: Rainer Hirsch
Cutter: Marion Pohlschmidt
Cutter Assistance: Malte Hadeler
Sounddesign: Primetime Studio

Executive Producer: Reinhardt Beetz
Editors: Martin Pieper (ZDF/arte), Michael Renz (ZDF History)

Koproduktion

ZDF

Kooperation

Arte G.E.I.L.E.

Förderer

nordmedia
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