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Monday, November 27, 2006

Nazi Comedy

Jewish director, Dani Levy is making a movie about Hitler. But, this isn't Hitler as we know him. Instead, the fuhrer will be portrayed as a "Bed-Wetting Drug addict who plays with toy battleships in the bath. Sounds liike it could be pretty amusing! We haven't really had a comedfy about Hitler since Charlie Chaplin days in "The Great Dictator"

Here's the plot.

It's late 1944. Hitler has lost faith in himself and a desperate Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels summons former Jewish acting coach Adolf Grünbaum from a concentration camp to get the dictator back in shape for a mass rally to reinvigorate the German people.

"Don't take the final solution personally," Goebbels tells an emaciated Grünbaum as the professor arrives in the Chancellery surrounded by Nazi officials who keep whipping out their arms in deafening "Heil Hitler!" salutes every few seconds.

Successive attempts by Grünbaum to kill Hitler fail, so he resigns himself to giving the troubled dictator acting lessons and eventually turns into a kind of psychiatrist, discovering that the dictator can't get over the fact that he could never please his strict father.

Lying on the couch of his grand office, Hitler recalls a disturbing childhood incident. "My father once gave me a catapult. He looked up and told me 'Kill that pigeon!' I fired and the pigeon landed at his feet, stone dead. 'That was a fluke,' he said, and walked off." Tears keep trickling down his face.

Another scene shows an embarrassed looking Hitler lying on top of Eva Braun who says "I can't feel you Mein Führer."

It all sounds pretty slapstick. However, I'm certain that Levy has a darker and stronger message. While he delivers a comedy to us with one hand, he asks of us only that we realise the horrifying truth behind his film, though he asks us not without humour.

The filming in Berlin already caused a stir. In March, Levy decked out Berlin's central Lustgarten square in giant swastika banners and hired hundreds of extras to wave swastika and cheer "Heil Hitler" for his final scene. Passing tourists and Berliners alike were aghast.

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