Surely Deford would not seriously equate the oeuvre of Riefenstahl, albeit certainly not inconsiderable, with that of such masters of the era as Sergei Eisenstein, Erich von Stroheim, Fritz Lang and Jean Renoir, not to mention their American counterparts, Frank Capra, John Ford and Howard Hawks?
Riefenstahl's film Triumph of the Will, for all its technical virtuosity, is, in the end, a piece of egregious propaganda glorifying quite possibly the most repugnant regime in history.
It is dangerous to make Leni Riefenstahl out to be another unwitting victim of Nazi Germany. In fact, her very complicity is captured best by her cameraman, Henry Jaworsky, who tells us that, obsessively, she would have done her work for Stalin, Roosevelt or Hitler. Some people may view this as moral neutrality, but it is not. This kind of personal amorality is precisely what led to the triumph of Hitler's will and, ultimately, made the holocaust possible.