During the 70s and early 80s I had a political cartoon strip called "Plympton". I took it very seriously and read all the new magazines and newspapers to keep up with all the political issues. Quite frankly I was burnt out on politics – it sucked out all my leisure time. I was so happy that my short "Your Face" was a big success and I was able to end my political cartooning career and move into animation. Obviously I still think a lot about politics and now I want to explore an issue that's been bugging me and I'd love to hear the thoughts from other Junkiteers on this issue.
As you probably know when Leni Riefenstahl won the Venice prize for her Land work 1936 documentary "Olympics" she traveled to Los Angeles to meet all the Hollywood bigweights. However they all shunned her because of her association with Adolf Hitler. Then when the great soviet director Sergei Eisenstein made the movie to Hollywood he was wined and dined by all big studios and celebrities.
What I don't understand is Leni was shunned because she was a propagandist for the Nazis, yet wasn't Sergei just as much of a propagandist for the Soviets and Stalin? Just like Leni, Sergei was forced to create various films that promoted a political agenda such as "October", "Potemkin" and "Alexander Nevsky". If he had refused he'd end up in Siberia or shot like many other Soviet artists and by many accounts Soviet Russian under Stalin was far more murderous and evil than the Nazis. There are accounts of Stalin killing up to 20 million Russians.
This is not just ancient history ether; this prejudice for Eisenstein persists today, he's revered as a great stylist innovative and revolutionary despite his role as a propagandist for the evil Stalin regime being well known. Yet Leni Riefenstahl is thought of as a Nazi puppet and many people refuse to acknowledge her great talent.
So please can someone tell me why Sergei Eisenstein is such a big hero and Leni Riefenstahl is not?