In 1934 the German filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl produced an epic propaganda film, Triumph of the Will, for the Nazis. In the film, Hitler is portrayed as a German Messiah who will bring glory to the nation. Released in 1935 it became one of the best examples of film propaganda.
Now Labour’s government is following in Reifenstahl’s footsteps. The official government website MaltaGov has just published Abela’s own Triumph of the Will – a film entirely focused on Robert Abela. There is not a single frame in which Abela does not feature. The film tells us nothing about government projects, nothing about their progress – it is pure glorification of the leader.
Reifenstahl’s techniques – such as a moving camera, telephoto lenses and the revolutionary use of music and cinematography – earned her film recognition as the greatest propaganda film in history.
Abela’s shorter version uses precisely the same techniques – with the same objective.
The short video shows us Abela visiting various places in Gozo – village squares, indoor and outdoor cafes, the Nadur primary school, the aquatic centre in Rabat, the Gozo regional development authority offices.
But the focus is firmly on Abela and the adoring public welcoming him, greeting him, honouring him, bowing before him.
Like Reifenstahl’s film, Abela’s is mostly shot from below eye level – portraying him as the great leader, the national hero. He’s seen chatting with people in the streets as they rush to shake his holy hand. He’s sitting back smiling, listening to the concerns of one citizen. He enjoys a coffee in an open-air cafe in front of a church. Schoolchildren stand to attention as the great leader surveys their classroom. Another young student listens intently to the leader’s sage words.
Abela’s shown striding purposefully in a hard hat and high-visibility jacket leading a team of determined project managers to action. He then smiles benevolently as he’s briefed about the great aquatic centre project – the same one that’s years behind schedule and millions over budget thanks to Joseph Portelli and Charles Polidano, ic-Caqnu.
It ends with Abela at the Gozo regional development authority’s offices making a speech, a camera in the foreground focusing on his face with GRDA chairperson Michael Grech obsequiously and submissively clapping for the leader.
In the Triumph of the Will, there are frequent close-ups of people watching and listening to Hitler. Hitler emerges from his plane to thunderous applause as Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg plays triumphantly.
Abela lands in Gozo as people in the street greet him with religious fervour, Xaghra’s church bells in the background. An elderly gentleman rises to his feet at the mere sight of the hero. Old and young hail the leader. Abela even abusively uses schoolchildren for his partisan propaganda. The telephoto lens focuses on one boy’s face which is clearly recognisable. That boy’s beautiful, innocent, adoring eyes serve the propagandist purposes of the video perfectly – that boy represents the nation willingly putting its destiny in the hands of the beneficent leader.
Like Riefenstahl’s film, Abela’s uses no verbal commentary. Reifenstahl preferred to make her points through rapid editing cuts, montages and music. Abela’s film uses the exact same techniques. The rousing music and the perfectly edited images are designed to sweep us into empathetic identification with the great leader as a kind of human deity.
Hitler walks triumphantly as his troops stand to attention. Abela surveys schoolchildren and members of the GDRA standing to attention.
In the Triumph of the Will, Adolf Hitler delivers his closing speech with his ominous prediction that, “All loyal Germans will become National Socialists.”
Abela’s video does the same. It uses a short clip of former PN MP and Deputy Speaker Ray Bondin, probably without his permission, chatting with Robert Abela – sending the message that even the staunchest Nationalists are on Abela’s side. All loyal Maltese will become Labour.
Hitler wanted a film that would move, appeal to and impress an audience that was not necessarily interested in politics, Riefenstahl commented. In order to achieve this, she was given a large budget and Hitler’s guaranteed personal support.
Abela’s film seeks the same objective. What is entirely shameful is that his video is produced using state funds. It is distributed through official government channels on the MaltaGov website. How many people were involved in filming, editing and launching this purely propagandist video?
We learn nothing new about government work by the end of the film. It conveys no useful information to citizens as the Commissioner of Standards insisted should be the case when he found Carmelo Abela in breach of the code of ethics.
In his speech in the Triumph of the Will, Hitler declares that “the party and the state are one entity”. So does Robert Abela in his own Triumph of the Will.
The message of that video is that the Prime Minister is the Government and that the Prime Minister is the State. The Party is Abela, Abela is the nation and the nation is Abela.
Both films intentionally blur the distinction between the party, the state and the people.
Abela’s video could easily be mistaken for one of the Labour party videos shown prior to his appearance at mass public gatherings – replete with rousing music reaching a climax and the same heroic imagery.
And to make absolutely certain that Party and State are one, the primministru.gov.mt website includes a handy link to a 52-minute video of Abela’s partisan political party event in Mgarr with Rosianne Cutajar as his warm-up act.
Riefenstahl’s Triumph of the Will ends by fading into black. Abela’s fades into dark blue with the MaltaGov emblem suddenly appearing. Abela is MaltaGov. “L’etat c’est moi.”
Hitler didn’t bring glory to Germany. He only brought death, destruction and dishonour. And Leni Riefenstahl distanced herself from the Nazi regime and its murderous leader after their catastrophic end in 1945.
Thx for this. Hadnt seen the video clip. I enjoyed it must admit…..and its good to showcase the efforts of govt in improving the lives of so many people.
Thanks once again, truly appreciated.
Will share the facebook look to my contacts. Thx buddy.
Good for you. Someday you and your homies will try to buy homes.
Scrambled brains are more prevalent in this handicapped society than I thought possible!
Can you name ONE contribution to our strong economy, conceived and delivered by this government in 9 years!?
Projects by the private business that would have materialised irrespective of which government was ruling, do not count.
On the other hand just imagine if this government had not embarked on selling 700 passports, land, and BWSC power station, among many others, to what level PL would have reduced our economy too!
Hint: 4.9 billion euro debt, from 2013 to 2022 at this rate the National debt will reach 15 billion by 2024
I try to explain it better to Gahans. The debt to GDP percentage is a ratio and is simply an indicator of a current economic situation and fluctuates depending on the GDP. The national debt is however an absolute value. The cost of paying the interest on the national debt and refinancing the debt is not dependent on the GDP, but instead on the base interest rate set by the ECB. The latter is rising and therefore the cost of the national debt and its refinancing is increasing. At the same time, the GDP of Malta is declining.
So here is how it works;
70% of GDP during Gonzi with a 5 billion national debt at about 3.5% interest rate by the ECB, meant Euro 175 million annual debt financing cost.
60% of GDP today with a national debt at 10+ billion at an interest rate of 2.6% and rising(!) means Euro 260 million annual debt financing cost.
If you also consider that since 2012 the interest rate for Malta was already falling and the GDP is rising, but to the contrary today the interest rate is rising steeply and the GDP is declining, you maybe understand why the situation today is much worse than it was between 2008-2013.
But the Super one school does not teach you that.
Robert Abela managed to make a time bomb out of the national debt.
Ray Bondin is a boot licker and will switch to any side to get what he wants
I have never boot licked anyone in my 67 years. I also left politics completely 31 years ago! I hope that you did 5 % of what I have done for my country.
Your last paragraph sums it all up, as we all know – or. at least, should seek to know -what happened in the months before April 30th, 1945.
On question: – will there be anyone distancing him/herself when the local equivalent of that day arrives – sooner or later?
Yes there will be…history always repeats itself
Hitler Shot Himself in the head and his lackeys were hanged . There wasn’t a Nazi in Germany when the war ended. Muscat was asked nicely to move aside , because his ass was showing . Abela was placed there by Muscat to cover his ass. Abela’s facial features betray him. Puting the country on steroids never ends in a healthy life.
That’s some way to look at the way Muscat ‘was asked nicely to move aside’. If it wasn’t for the persisting protests on the streets and around Castille by the civil society movement in Malta from November 2019 to January 2020, nobody had asked Muscat nicely to move aside and he would still be PM, even had won the last years GE.
The PL is just trying to build of the picture of the big leader for PM Abela, despite knowing that the man lacks any charisma to compare him with Mintoff and Muscat. It’s all facade and keep the Gahans entertained, feeding the illusion that everything is fine and it will always go on that way. The PL has tourned Malta into some sort of a ‘PL shop’ where you get all the things you like for being with them. Such things never last for ever as sooner or later, they’ll get to the end of the road.
“Be the first to comment”
Yeah right!!! Already tried but what i had to say didnt please you evidently!!
I’ll try to coin this as nicely as possible, so here goes:
Why don’t you fc#k off, and crawl back into the hole you slithered out of?
This website isn’t a place for PL trolls and their propaganda. This website is the place of the Resistance against the PL govt that runs the country more selfishly than ever before.
If you don’t like to face the facts and the truth, this place here isn’t for you.
Most probably, the film of Robert Abela didn’t mention the soaring national debt which is mostly of his own making. I can’t understand how he can even sleep at night when he knows that debt can bring disaster.
This is a very daring comparison in regards of the times in history and the present, as well as in the light of the differences between Germany from 1933 to 1945 and Malta since 1945.
To the film mentioned in this article that was chosen for the title of it, I just like to say a few things and not going into much detail regarding its content. The film is proscribed in Germany and that for good reason. It is as mentioned in the article the most known propaganda work of the Nazis. One can see extracts from it in many documentaries about that time. One can only watch this film in its original and thus publicly in a documentation centre. So, years ago, I went to Nuremberg to the Reichsparteitags Documentary Centre where it was shown inside their promises in their cinema. It was what I have seen from documentaries, but this time, I had to watch the whole in its full lenght. Rather a boring matter and a show of German militarism at its peak, worse than the old Prussian one. The totalitarianism was displayed in full swing given that this film has been made in 1934, just one year after the ‘Machtergreifung’ (power taking). The film is toxic because it gives those who are not that well informed about the attrocities that went on since 1933 in small scales to its culmination in the Holocaust during WWII, the illusion of a closed militarised and fanatical society. There is no room for individualism, no room for freedom and a human being is just part of a huge bloc of people who are also arranged to appear in such formations and move on one command in either direction.
What this article has but in its essence is the fact that it refers to a build up of a new personality cult. But Malta has no such militaristic traditon as Germany had from 1871 to 1945, with the except of the Weimar Republic from 1919 to 1933. Malta is, because the British also had never subscribed to such militarism like the Germans, not quite to be compared with Germany one to one.
One can take any other dictator from the past in regards of personality cult and the ‘use’ or ‘abuse’ of children for partisan propaganda. Take Joseph Stalin, Mao, Tito, or for modern times NK. They all follow the same pattern and it is in fact the creation of a ‘Führer-Cult’ based on the one strong leader. Therefore, in light of Malta, it might appear as a bit distracting, for some even inappropriate. But there is one man that matches the comparisons that close like no other before and after him. Dom Mintoff, the Maltese ‘Leader’ with a sense of building up a personality cult around himself.
It is clear to me, for a long time by now since I have learned more about Dom Mintoff, that for old MLPers and present day PLers, Dom Mintoff is the unquestioned leader and there is no chance that this will ever change. Just like Mussolini remains the leader for neo-fascists in Italy and Stalinists even in our time. What Malta had to endure during the second, third and fourth term of Mintoff’s rule from 1971 to 1984 was a regime that orientated itself, by his decision and leadership, very closely to the Communist Bloc. But different to the militarism in the former USSR, the Warsaw Pact member states and more to the point the PRC and NK, the AFM had no similar role in compare these other countries.
But the MLP thugs were those who, by historical recording, terrorised those people in Malta who opposed the MLP and the only thing that distincts Malta at that time from the other Communist states was that Mintoff didn’t abolish the Constitution of Malta or suspended it (like in Germany the Weimar Constitution was suspended from 1933 to 1945). The PN was as weak as the opposition in the 1970s and 1980s as it appears today. There was a period of transformation within the PN from George Borg Olivier to Eddie Fenech Adami, just with the difference that back in those days, the PN didn’t undermine the leadership of the then new PN leader Fenech Adami. Different to today where Dr Grech has not just to handle the PL but the opponents within the PN who still assemble themselves around the former PN leader Adrian Delia.
I noticed the similarities pointed out in this article, but I rather beg to not go too far away from Malta and stick to the country’s own past because the PL is once again trying to go the same way like the MLP in the old days. Some say that the worst years in the Mintoff era were from 1979 onwards, some say that it already started a couple of years earlier. Fact is, that with the British Forces finally leaving Malta on 31st March 1979, there was no ‘higher power’ left in Malta to control or supervise the Maltese government. Control of the Maltese government already ceased with the transformation of Malta into a Republic on 13th December 1974 but with the British Forces still using Malta as a military base, for rent of course, the MLP and thus Mintoff were still a bit hesitant to use the full force of their power. This changed dramatically after 31st March 1979 because in my view, it doesn’t just look like a coincident that the Times of Malta building was ransacked on Black Monday, 15th October 1979 and that on the same date, the private premises of Eddie Fenech Adami and those of his family members who happened to be present in the house were attacked by the MLP thugs. Nobody who took part in these acts of crime was ever brought to justice and the Malta Police just stood there watching the fire to spread through the whole building and only the fire brigade managed to have the fire not spreading to other adjacent buildings.
The PL and for that the many PL followers who display their opinions on public media outlets, have no real grasp of what democracy means and that a party cannot be in government for all times. But they wish for it and always paint the dark picture of the PN on the wall in order to mislead others who are either not completely against the PL or just refuse to pick a side. For acts of partisan violence and ransacking of media outlet buildings cannot be done today because with Malta in the EU, the PL wouldn’t dare to revive the old MLP practices. They are doing it more subtle these days, rather ‘purchasing’ the people with jobs in the public sector, preferring likeminded developers and others in various sections of the economy and make them as much dependent on the PL as the MLP was doing the same with people in the old days.
There are some expressions from PLers I have read like ‘God forbid that the PN ever gets into pwer again’, or ‘the PN will still be in opposition long after 2027’ and they have no inclination or even sense or awareness that they are really just used by that party as willful followers who hardly criticise the party or its leader. It is a claim for absolute power without expressing it in words, it goes underneath the propaganda, What one can see these days, actually since Joseph Muscat took over the leadership of the PL, is sort of propaganda that gives one the illusion of inclusiveness. But that inclusiveness is nothing more than to absorb the individual to become a follower of the Party and as long as the material wellbeing is secured, as long the PLers (whether with party membership or just being a voter) are kept satisfied, or as some others would say, bond by compliancy (worst expression would be either ‘stoned’ or ‘under a spell’ – I distance myself from such expressions). Either way, the PL is doing everything it can to secure its votes, to guarantee itself every GE to win and the lethargy of those who oppose the PL but do nothing or even worse undermine those in opposition (like the infights of the PN display that problem at best), always work as a support for the PL for which they don’t have to take any efforts themselves. It’s win-win-situation for the PL and it doesn’t matter that PM Abela is not perceived as the ‘charismatic’ leader like Dom Mintoff was for decades and Joseph Muscat still remains. Both could have done (apart from what they evidently have done) anything wrong or worse and it doesn’t matter to the PLers. On the contrary, they always defend the indefensible, justifying it by pointing out to their self-created propaganda bogeyman picture of the PN which would rob the people of all the material wellbeing they have under a PL regime.
Comparing these two parties, the MLP / PL and the PN and the eras of their governments, with the MLP there was societal upheaval, with the PN there was progress towards reversing the trend from the MLP and bring Malta back to the Western Community and joining the EU. Where the PN appears and also governs with inclusiveness on an international level, the PL always propagades it as ‘curbing of independence’, likening the EU with a colonial power which the EU isn’t but Malta as a meber state has to play by and obey the rules of that organisation. The many PLers just don’t think for themselves, they just swallow the propaganda and be fed with it till kingdom comes. So, it is easy to lead them, but it is also easy to mislead them because they don’t want to think for themselves, like all the people who year for the big populist leader, the strong man that solves every problem but they never realise that if one becomes the problem of or for the strong man himself, one is quickly finding oneself at the other receiving end. So, they comply with the PL propaganda and just ‘walk’ in line with it.
Some say that now it’s back to the 1980s in Malta once again. This isn’t the ‘back to the 1980s’ in Malta, this is the 2020s and therefore more sophisticated and more compelling for those who never give critical thinking a minutes chance. Some call such people ‘sheep’, I rather call them people misled by cheap propaganda and bond by essential matters in life, like a job and thus an income. The phrase ‘never bite the hand that feeds you’ applies absolutely and to top it all, in the eyes of the PLers, the whole administration in Malta, executive and judiciary, is still filled with a majority of PNers. It’s just a simple as that and therefore, in their perception, those PNers do everything to make the Maltese administration look as malfunctioning. If the Maltese govt takes directly interference with administrative proceedings and thus ignores the principles of the separation of powers, it doesn’t bother the PLers. The world view is a simplistic one and such is the perception and the distinction of right and wrong, if there is an inclination to that or not just indifference to it.
The major reason for why Daphne Caruana Galizia is so much hated by the PLers, some admit it with no reservation, others like to disguise it in a more polite way (such as to suggest that ‘they have no problem with the idea if the PN would put a bust or statue of her on a pedestal inside the PN HQs), is that she dared to open the eyes of the people, attempted to tell them what is going on and make them to think for themselves and realise that this party is using Malta for its own political ends and not serving all the people in Malta, regardless of partisan allignements, as it should be in a free, democratic and parliamentary Republic.
The biggest fools always make fools out of those who speak the truth and in order to undermine that, ridicule them so that it distracts for the own stupidity and incapability of the biggest fools to just start to think for themselves. Where there is no will, there is no way and as the title of the article suggest, it leads to the triumph of the seducers or in this case, propagandists.
It’s a pity that the PL is the way it is because that doesn’t make her a Social Democratic Party, a centre-left party that sticks to commonly shared values in a free society and accepts the opposite opinion as not just a valid point of a free thinking person, or in regards of partisanship the opposition party and deals with it like grown ups should do. It took and I also took my time to get more information about the PL in order to understand it, but in conclusion, I could never join them because they are in practice so much diametral to my own values and fundamental convictions that they have nothing to do with what I understand by being a centre-left leaning person but also not what others consider or understand by the term ‘Socialist’. Where there is no freedom for the individual and thus critical thinking, there is no place for me to go because I simply find compulsive partisanship really repulsive. And that is the way I see the PL after years of reading about it and the people who go with that party and vote for it.
Benito Mussolini propaganda movies played the same script
Saddam Hussein propaganda movies played the same script
Adolf Hitler propaganda movies played the same script
Look at how those careers ended. Make the comparison; see if history doen’t repeat itself.
A part-time PM, spoilt, intent on personal business deals with a strong streak of megalomania.
Mela il prim Abela jekk mar l iskola tan Nadur nispera li ma iddardax WARA li Ghada min dik it triq qisek fuq il qamar alla hares kien HOBBLA ghax kien ikkorri zgur VERU PRIM?. Veru li saru xi toroq fil kampanja bit tarmac BISS l irhula u fi triqat tal Victoria Huma dizastru. Possibli li l ghawdxin kuntenti b dawk it toroq hnizrija Jew jibzaw li jirfu xi kallu ta xi ALLA FALZ.
Il-komunisti ta’pajjizna l’istess jaghmlu jaghlfu lill gahan ghal poter. Aktar ma jghaddi zmien aktar iz-zmien inessi u jintilfu l’evidenzi tal-kriminal li qatel lill DCG. Hu dawn huma dawk li qed jinkixfu wiehed wiehed.
Georgia Meloni, Italy’s PM spent 90 minutes answering to journalists. Our puppet of pm, the conultant of the most corrupt pm Malta ever had, runs away from journalists and uses the backdoor. After all how can he explain all this corruption – he who does not condemn corruption is corrupt .