Day Of Freedom: Our Fighting Forces

113. DAY OF FREEDOM – OUR FIGHTING FORCES (Tag Der Freiheit) (1935-Germany). Directed by LENI RIEFENSTAHL. Until recently, this important Riefenstahl propaganda film was considered lost. A powerful demonstration of Nazi Germany’s military might, it was ordered made by the Fuehrer himself, to make up for the virtual absence of the Army in “Triumph of the Will,” Riefenstahl’s overwhelming film of the 1934 Nazi Party Rally. (Reportedly, the Army had been left out of “Triumph” because this footage was of such poor quality.) Here, under the proud eyes of Hitler, Hess, Goering and others, the Wehrmacht displays the awesome arsenal of weapons and vehicles that would soon be sweeping across Europe. We see the infantry and cavalry in precision drills and formations; processions of jeeps, tanks and planes; and mock battles involving cannons, machine guns and anti-aircraft barrages. As in ‘Triumph,” Riefenstahl masterfully orchestrates imagesÑrepeatedly using low angles to pose men and machines heroically against the sky, and intercutting the Nazi emblems, the swastika and eagle. In the finale, “Deutschland Uber Alfes” accompanies a montage of flags, clouds and planes, culminating in a shot of aircraft in a swastika formation! A chilling prelude to World War II, and propaganda at its most effective. With original music score. No dialogue or narration. 17 minutes. Propaganda-Documentary