When I was recently in Berlin the publicity for the DVD release of the feature film Er ist wieder da (2015) was everywhere. Posters showing the figure of Adolf Hitler were posted in prominent positions all over the city. This seemed very strange to a visitor, as I had always believed that since the end of the war Hitler was a taboo subject in Germany. In fact the movie had been a great hit on its release and now it looked like the DVD would also be well received.
Based on a best selling satirical novel by Timur Vermes published in 2012 and directed by David Wnendt, this spoof movie is described as a comedy but many will find it quite disturbing. It attempts to put across its moral message about the resurgence and the increasing influence of the far right in Europe, and how it would appear that many have not learned the lessons from the Nazi era – clips are shown to prove this at the end of the film.
Its 2011 and Adolf Hitler wakes up in a vacant lot in Berlin. He has no knowledge of anything that’s happened since his supposed suicide in 1945. He finds himself homeless and destitute quickly realising that the war is over, the Nazi Party is no more but still looks upon life from the Nazi perspective. Travelling around the city he is instantly recognised but the people he meets think he is comedic impersonator or a method actor practising his latest role. His appearance is lapped up by the media and is invited to appear on the popular television show ‘Whoa dude’ were video’s of his angry rants go viral on social media. Achieving celebrity it’s not long before Adolf Hitler re-enters politics.
Although the movie is perhaps a little long winded with a running time of just less than two hours it’s a film that does manage to get its message across. As with many German movies the cast is outstanding especially Oliver Masucci who plays Hitler, Katja Riemann (Fack ju Gohte 2013) as the MyTV chairperson Katja Bellini and Fabian Busch as Fabian Sawatzi the film maker who first meets Hitler after his rebirth. Its certainly an interesting take on the subject of modern politics and the best bits are the unscripted moments where Hitler interacts with unsuspecting German citizens, especially those involving Asian tourists around the Brandenburg Arch. If my wee ramble has made you inquisitive then the movie can at present still be seen on Netflix.