[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Tuesday, 2 January 2007, 18:00 GMT
Hitler film breaks comedy taboo
Adolf Hitler in Mein Fuehrer
German actor Helge Schneider plays Adolf Hitler
A comedy about Adolf Hitler is set to break new ground in Germany when it opens in cinemas later this month.

Mein Fuehrer: The Truly Truest Truth About Adolf Hitler is the first home-grown film to lampoon Hitler.

It portrays the former leader as a drug-addled man who plays with a toy battleship in the bath and dresses his dog in a Nazi uniform.

Director Dani Levy said the film aims to explain how it was possible for Germans to follow Hitler.

Levy, a Swiss-born Jew who lives in Berlin, told the Associated Press: "I had the feeling that I must do it with another genre, do it by being able to exaggerate through comedy."

He added: "I think it is important that we create new pictures of our own, also of the Holocaust or Nazism, and not always work off the old, realistic pictures, because I think that just makes us lazy and tired, and we don't learn anything from it."

Jewish actor

Mein Fuehrer begins in December 1944, with Berlin in ruins and Hitler too depressed to deliver a much-awaited speech to rally his people.

His propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels, employs the help of a fictional Jewish actor from a concentration camp to coach him.

Adolf Hitler in Mein Fuehrer
The film opens in Germany on 11 January

But the actor uses the opportunity to put the Fuhrer through humiliating exercises, such as crawling about barking like a dog.

Paul Nolte, a professor of contemporary history at Berlin's Free University, said such a film would have been unthinkable 10 years ago, when Germans were engrossed in "a very serious appraisal of Nazism".

Mein Fuehrer follows the Oscar-nominated 2004 film Downfall, which broke new ground in portraying Hitler from a German perspective.

The weekly German newspaper Der Spiegel said the new wave of films about Hitler is demonstrating "a need to break the myth down to a normal human... that makes him more everyday, perhaps easier to understand, in any case smaller".

"The ultimate way to shrink a myth is to make it laughable," it added.

Downfall wins BBC world film gong
26 Jan 06 |  Entertainment
Director's look at 'human' Hitler
01 Apr 05 |  Entertainment
Germans flock to see Hitler film
17 Sep 04 |  Entertainment
'Human' Hitler disturbs Germans
16 Sep 04 |  Europe

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific