Sunday evening at MFAH

As part of its “Revivals” film series, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston showed Leni Riefenstahl’s film about the 1936 Berlin Olympics, Olympia I.

Olympia I is a stunningly beautiful film.

Except for the parts which have Nazis in them.

There’s no harm in seeing it, though — the few bits of obvious propaganda are more risible than dangerous. More than 90 percent of the film is a celebration of the Olympics, and Riefenstahl’s ability to glorify the Games is impressive. The film is as relevant to the Olympics of 2004 as it was to the Olympics of 1936.

I’m looking forward to seeing Olympia II — the second part of Riefenstahl’s film — which the MFAH will show in two weeks.

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