Sunday, November 26, 2006

Der Spiegel: "Germany's first Nazi Comedy: Meet Hitler, the Bed-Wetting Drug Addict"

Levy is also following in the footsteps of Mel Brooks:
German cinema breaks new ground in January with its first comedy about Hitler. Jewish director Dani Levy is following in the footsteps of Charlie Chaplin, maker of "The Great Dictator," with a decidedly unsympathetic portrayal of Hitler as a bed-wetting drug addict who is making the world suffer for his beatings as a child.

Hitler likes to play with his toy battleship in the bath, wets his bed, can't get an erection and is addicted to drugs he keeps in his giant globe, according to Germany's first comedy about the Führer, made by Jewish director Dani Levy.

"Mein Führer: The Truly Truest Truth about Adolf Hitler," which received public funding, opens in January and fits a recent trend in Germany to break new ground in dealing with its Nazi history. It follows the 2004 movie "The Downfall," one of the first German films to show Hitler up close and personal.

A German-made farce about Hitler would have been unthinkable just a few years ago. But the passage of time and the gradual dying out of the Nazi-era generation have given the country a more detached view of its past.

Swiss director Levy says he wants to follow in the tradition of Charlie Chaplin's 1940 classic "The Great Dictator," and to take a tongue-in-cheek look at the theory that Hitler was taking revenge on the world for being beaten by his father.

Levy, who won critical acclaim for his 2004 comedy " Alles Auf Zucker" about Jewish people in post-unification Germany, sees nothing wrong with a tragicomic approach to the Holocaust. "I don't want to give this cynical, psychological wreck of a person the honor of a realistic portrayal," he says in a statement. [...]

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