Lokendra Singh Kalvi of the Rajput Karni Sena, which is spearheading protests against director Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmavati, probably isn’t aware that several filmmakers have taken up his dare to make movies against Adolf Hitler in Germany.
The most recent of these was Look Who’s Back, a 2015 comedy directed by David Wnendt that takes a satirical look at Hitler returning to contemporary Germany and wanting to make the country “great again”. Some have even said the movie predicted the rise of US President Donald Trump.
Then there’s Downfall, director Oliver Hirschbiegel’s harrowing look at Hitler’s final 10 days in the Führerbunker as seen through the eyes of his young secretary Traudl Junge, and the origin of countless memes featuring Hitler melting down over any number of issues.
Mein Führer – Die wirklich wahrste Wahrheit über Adolf Hitler (My Führer – The Really Truest Truth About Adolf Hitler) was a 2007 comedy by director Dani Levy that tells the tale of a depressed Hitler hiring a Jewish acting coach to prepare him for a major speech.
In 1977, filmmakers from Germany, France and Britain came together for the experimental 442-minute film Hitler: A Film From Germany, which had no real plot and instead combined characters reading out long passages from the autobiographies of people close to the Nazi dictator.
Director Christoph Schlingensief’s 100 Years Adolf Hitler – The Last Hour In The Führerbunker, released in 1989, featured the German actor Udo Kier playing Hitler. The film was shot in complete darkness within an original World War 2 bunker over a period of 16 hours. Speaking about the film, Schlingensief once said: “Unfortunately we haven’t digested Hitler since ’45. No one has thrown him down in front of us and said ‘Read this crap! Use it, chew on it until it’s total mush and then no one will be interested in wearing this tattered old rag.’”
Kalvi could be forgiven for not being aware of these films because it’s highly unlikely they would have been released widely in India or even shown on Indian TV channels, and also for not knowing that Hitler isn’t an idol for the majority of Germans.
The views expressed by the writer are personal. He tweets as @rezhasan