This is Nazis Gone Wild! week. My Fuhrer is currently available on instant Netflix.
WATCH: My Fuhrer (2007) – NR – Not rated.
“With the tide turning in favor of the Allied Forces, leaders of the Third Reich hope that a rousing speech from Hitler (Helge Schneider) can spark a resurgence of confidence for the German people. One problem: The Führer is too depressed to deliver. The solution: a little coaching from Goebbels (Sylvester Groth) former acting teacher, a Jew by the name of Adolf Grunbaum (Ulrich Mühe). Adriana Altaras also stars in this wry comedy from Dani Levy.”
“18 phone calls, 163 stamps and 1.7 kilometres of red tape later, Dr. Goebbels great idea was put into effect.”
“I am no longer the Fuhrer that God chose me to be.”
My Fuhrer is written and directed by Dani Levy. It treads much of the same uncomfortable territory as Life is Beautiful. Mining humor from Hitler and the Holocaust is problematic at best but Levy does a very good job of it.
There are really only two ways to go with this. Either you can have a slapstick comedy or you can have a dark sardonic one. This is the latter.
They have a lot of fun with how much was hidden from Hitler towards the end. I really like the idea of Hitler driving past walls built as sets to disguise the bombed-out rubble that is Berlin.
There are also a number of good jokes about how German soldiers would not do anything without the proper form. This plays especially well as our society becomes more and more bureaucratic.
The entire plot and feeling of the film is surreal. For example try to picture Adolf Hitler in a track suit doing push-ups. The comedy is not laugh out loud funny but is more of the make-you-smile variety.
I thought the two leads, Helge Schneider as Hitler and Ulrich Muhe as Grunbaum, were quite good but Sylvester Groth really steals the show as the nefarious Dr. Goebbels. The other performances are fine but not especially noteworthy.
The film is told in flashback and does build to a wonderful payoff at the end.
As long as you do not mind subtitles or the subject matter, I recommend this film. If you watch it then stay through the credits as there is a final point to be made.
People Watch: Ulrich Noethen played Heinrich Himmler in this film and also in Downfall (Der Untergang – 2004).