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About The Secret Glory film

The Secret Glory original cover

The Secret Glory< has been released as a part of Subversive Cinema's Dust Devil box-set.
The Secret Glory tells the story of Otto Rahn (1904-1939), who worked in Ahnenerbe (Ancestral Heritage Society), a Schutz-Staffel division in the Nazi Germany. Rahn was convinced he knew where to find the Holy Grail and after being nominated an SS officer, he finally had the resources to pursue it.
"What [Rahn] discovered remains as mysterious as the stories surrounding his untimely death in 1939, but with rare archival footage, old letters and photographs Stanley manages to conjure up the vision of a grand quest, which began in the 13th century and hasn't lost its alluring power until today." [Taken from the Oldenburg Film Festival website.]

Stanley had reportedly been working this subject for quite a while before starting to shoot it mainly in France and Germany around the year 1998. He talks about his research in the Sex & Guts interview.
The Secret Glory celebrated its unofficial world premiere when a work-in-progress cut (running at 90 minutes) was screened in Germany at the Oldenburg Filmfestival in September 2001. It was a part of their "Richard Stanley Tribute" section, along with the Afghan documentary Voice of the Moon and director's cuts of Hardware and Dust Devil. The film's editor James Whitehorn has later mentioned in his Curriculum Vitae [now offline, accessed through Wayback Machine] that the final cut runs at 120 minutes with the title changed to The Secret Glory of Otto Rahn. Then again, Stanley's even more up-to-date CV mentions the film as The Secret Glory of SS Obersturmfuhrer Otto Rahn, so who knows what kind of a word monster the final, complete title will be.<<<

Richard Stanley:

So I'm making a very long, detailed biographical documentary about an SS-Ubersturmführer named Otto Rahn, who worked for the Ahnerbe, which was the cultural-folklore-historical department of the SS; and who was involved in creating the SS as we know it; the creation of the Order castle, the design of the uniforms, and particularly with the overview of the Third Reich with the cultural underpinnings that led to the policies of genocide; that led to the Aryan myth; that led to the idea of the master race. And I picked Otto, because he was also Jewish. To me, the idea that a man, who was even half-Jewish, was someone who is as Jewish as anyone else, could end up like Otto as an administrator with the death sect at Dachau. I'm yet to see whether this is a misguided endeavour, or whether there might be any kind of small truth that might come out of it, or anything that might be of benefit for posterity in some crazed way.

From Richard Stanley: In the Belly of the Beast
by Alex Chisholm
(Originally appeared in In the Belly of the Beast, 1997)<