Riefenstahl’s films are still effective because, among other reasons, their longings are still felt, because their content is a romantic ideal to which many continue to be attached, and which is expressed in such diverse modes of cultural dissidence and propaganda for new forms of community as the youth/rock culture, primal therapy, Laing’s antipsychiatry, Third World camp-following, and belief in gurus and the occult.

The exaltation of community does not preclude the search for absolute leadership; on the contrary, it may inevitably lead to it. (Not surprisingly, a fair number of the young people now prostrating themselves before gurus and submitting to the most grotesquely autocratic discipline are former anti-authoritarians and anti-elitists of the 1960s.)

And Riefenstahl’s devotion to the Nuba, a tribe not ruled by one supreme chief or shaman, does not mean she has lost her eye for the seducer-performer—even if she has to settle for a nonpolitician. Since she finished her work on the Nuba some years ago, one of her main projects has been photographing Mick Jagger.

Susan Sontag, Fascinating Fascism, The New York Review of Books February 6 1975