In the comparison and contrast between the two films, Triumph of the Will by Leni Riefenstahl’s and Malcolm X by Spike Lee, both films are based on the lives of two notorious leaders. Adolf Hitler, founder of the Nazi Party, was known to be a great speaker. At the time of the German war, many were distraught and his words became something to look up to. Hundreds followed as he began a movement of his political and religious beliefs and the fanaticism ideas that he possessed. On the other hand, there is Malcolm X, a civil rights leader, was also known as a great speaker and an inspiration to countless African Americans today. In the state of racism against blacks, Malcolm X, along with others set out on a quest impose on others equal rights, justice, freedom and the practice of Islam. I will continue this by comparing and contrasting key elements essential to this essay: Christianity vs. Islam, Jews vs. African Americans, and how violence itself played a major role in both these periods.
Hitler didn’t exactly practice his religion of Christianity in a churchly logic but he did go along with what the bible stated. In the cynical crimes committed by Hitler it wasn’t clear if he believed in Christianity let alone a God, but it was confirmed in a testimony made by Hitler himself. “Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator, by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.” This statement was an argument of the actions taken upon the Jews and his reasoning behind it. In contrast, Malcolm X practiced the religion of Islam. While he preached about justice he taught Islam and furthered the expansion of the religion by combining to two. He went as far to say, “I believe in a religion that believes in freedom. Anytime I have to accept a religion that won't let me fight a battle for my people, I say to hell with that religion.” This persuaded people that if they believed in Islam it will guide you to freedom and forget about everything else. Everyone knows of Hitler’s evil obsession with the Jews. He hated them and announced that for the whole world to hear. He wanted others to feel the same as he did and that later came true when the Holocaust took place and people went along with it. He affirmed “The personification of the devil as the symbol of all evil assumes the living shape of the Jew.” In his eyes the Jews possessed everything that’s evil and he constantly referred to them as just that. In difference, Malcolm X had no hate toward anyone, just the drive for his people to have freedom and justice. In his thoughts to react with violence and the treatment of his people allegations of whether or not Malcolm was racist was always put in the air. He quickly responded back denying them. He confirmed, “I am not a racist. I am against every form of racism and segregation, every form of discrimination. I believe in human beings, and that all human beings should be respected as such, regardless of their color.”
Violence was a part that both leaders took part in. Hitler took his act of violence out on the Jews. He ordered that the Jews be removed from their homes leaving everything, and be moved to concentration camps where they were isolated from the rest of the world. Hitler than ordered for them to work and anyone who was too old would be killed because they were of no use. These hateful crimes didn’t stop there, they continued with any disobedient Germans. Hitler made it so that if any Germans were harboring a Jew, once found, the Jew will be killed along with the Germans that sheltered them. In comparison, Malcolm in pursuit of obtaining freedom and justice, proposed violence. He stated, “It doesn't mean that I advocate violence, but at the same time, I am not against using violence in self-defense. I don't call it violence when it's self-defense, I call it intelligence.” He thought that it was the right for an individual to own a shotgun or rifle and use it when felt attack. He saw this as the law for self-defense.
In conclusion, these organizers both were on opposite ends. For instance, Hitler was a German man who believed in many things and was poor most of his life seeking an opportunity to come up and obtained that. Malcolm believed in just Islam and just wanted freedom for African Americans. Hitler in the process of empowering his people weakened the Jews and almost caused their extinction. While Malcolm spent his time empowering African Americans not trying to cause the downfall of anyone else. These two leaders, whether good or bad, have changed history today. Work Cited
Walker, Jim. “Hitler’s religious beliefs and Fanaticism.” 28 Nov. 1996. 10 Dec. 2007 “Quotations” 03 Dec. 2007. 11 Dec. 2007