Is it ok to laugh at Hitler? A new German comedy dares to joke about the controversial leader who ordered a genocide that nearly removed Jews from the face of the earth. The writers dare to give a comedic twist to Hitler’s cruel but charismatic persona in a movie that is based on the acclaimed novel, “Er ist wieder da,” penned by Timur Vermes.
The movie, “”Er ist wieder da” or “Look Who’s Back” in English, describes an alternate universe where Hitler accidentally enters suspended animation in 1945 and wakes up 70 years later in modern day Germany. His experience of modern reality is colored by his belief that the Nazis are still ruling over Germany. He assumes a lot of other things which include the assumptions like the Turks have entered into his alliance. In the movie, modern public reacts quite differently to his presence. Most believe that he is a method actor who has taken his acting to the extreme is trying to master his act through living it. When Hitler uploads some of his speeches onto youtube, he becomes a celebrity, because everybody assumes that he is joking. Unfortunately, Hitler being Hitler, uses his popularity to get back into politics.
The movie is true to author Timur Vermes’s depiction of Hitler as someone who should be mocked. But as many reviewers have commented recently, Vermes might be ignoring the fact that his playful mockery may seem like glamourizing to men with a Nazi tilt of mind. Then there is the idea that Vermes might have penned the book with a naivete that is a little too entertaining. After all, the movie ends with Hitler getting a book deal. Vermes may have never intended it but it might fuel the sentiment that Hitler and his virulent philosophy was somehow harmless and therefore fun. Can we afford to call Hitler’s reign “harmless fun”? Or should we scare our children with horror stories of Hitler’s reign and forever brand their minds with the fear of evil? Which stance will be a better way of dealing with it?
In the end, the question remains. “Is it ok to laugh at Hitler?”
Bloomberg View reported the news first.
Photo Source: Wikipedia/ Look Who’s Back