Page last updated at 19:18 GMT, Monday, 2 January 2006

Made in Germany: A Hitler comedy

By Ray Furlong
BBC correspondent in Berlin

Film director Dani Levy
Dani Levy is no stranger to controversy

Filming starts on a controversial new project this month - a comedy, in German, about Adolf Hitler.

It is the work of the Swiss Jewish director Dani Levy, who in 2005 had a big hit with a comedy called Alles auf Zucker! - about Jews in Germany today.

The new film, Mein Fuehrer - The real truth about Adolf Hitler, will portray the Nazi leader as a weakling helped to the top by a Jewish comedian.

Mr Levy says Nazi leaders have been "put on pedestals" in documentaries.

It is time to take them down, he says.

The Berlin and Brandenburg Film Board, a public body, put up more than $500,000 to help finance the film.

Mr Levy's film Alles auf Zucker! (Go for Zucker!) was a huge risk, but was well received. His new project is even more ambitious.

Another recent German film, The Downfall, provoked an anxious debate here about where the boundaries lie with its grim dramatisation of Hitler's last days in the bunker.

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