The Meaning of Hitler



IMDb Rating 6.4 10 98

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Uploaded By: FREEMAN
December 08, 2021 at 09:50 PM


842.4 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 31 min
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by ferguson-6 7 / 10

propaganda or history or both

Greetings again from the darkness. The Holocaust and Nazi Germany. No subjects are likely even close in regards to the number of documentaries on topic. Yet somehow, there always seems to be more to mine. Co-directors Peppa Epperline and Michael Tucker have based their project on the 1978 book by Sebastian Haffner. The objective is to pull back the curtain on the self-conceit at the center of the cult of Hitler. How did this happen? How has it been repeated? How do we expose this without adding to the fascination of Hitler? It's quite a conundrum, and one not easily navigated.

One of the first points made near the film's beginning is that most agree understanding Hitler is not possible. So by that definition, a cinematic pursuit for meaning is a futile undertaking. But that doesn't stop the filmmakers from trying. On their quest, they interview many experts and travel to various places of interest - museums, historical sites, camps, and even Treblinka.

Hollywood's fascination with Hitler is discussed, including Mel Brooks' THE PRODUCERS (2005) and the "Springtime for Hitler" sequence, Quentin Tarantino's INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS (2009), and the superb DOWNFALL (2004). An excellent point is made in regards to the film comparisons of how Hitler's suicide is typically portrayed behind closed doors, while Holocaust victims are not afforded such dignity. There is even a segment on Leni Riefenstahl's documentary on the Nazi way, TRIUMPH OF THE WILL (1935). Novelist Francine Prose labels the work, "kitsch".

Infamous Holocaust denier David Irving is featured, and we hear him describe Auschwitz as "not important". The technological advances in microphones are explained in regards to how the "Hitler bottle" allowed him to be more demonstrative during speeches, often resulting in working the audience into a frenzy. Interviews are included throughout the film, and feature historians (Saul Friedlander), authors, deniers, psychologists, and even Nazi hunters.

"Fascinating Fascism" is examined as pageantry and spectacle and other enticing aspects. The theatrical presentation that led to this fetish might today be termed marketing. It's a bit of a relief to see the filmmakers avoided focusing too much on the parallels to a particular modern day phenomenon, despite the timing being right to study similarities. They do, however, make the comparison to Beatlemania, and how history has a tendency to repeat itself in various forms.

The film bounces around some, with certain segments more insightful than others, and there are some astounding points made. One of those interviewed states, "The Nazi ideals were acted out by people who were absolutely normal." It's a frightening thought. Another discusses the human conflict: humans are animals that kill, as well as being herd animals. The Nazi mission played into both. What the film left me with was the belief that the Nazi propaganda has been repurposed as history, leading to the fascination, whereas the focus of that era should be something else.

Reviewed by paul-allaer 7 / 10

The long shadow of Hitler

"The Meaning of Hitler" (2020 release; 93 min.) is a documentary about the long shadow of Hitler, now 75+ years after his death and the demise of the Nazis. As the documentary opens, we see a New York train commuter reading reading the 1978 book "The Meaning Of Hitler" by Sebastian Haffner (the original book was in fact titled "Anmerkungen zu Hilter", meaning "Notes on Hitler"), and the documentary makers take that book as a starting (and at times resting) point to muse about Hitler. We join the film makers as they travel to Austria to look at Hitler's birth place and upbringing, and his eventual failure as a painter. How could such a man become what he became? There is no single black and white answer... At this point we are 10 min. Into the movie.

Couple of comments: this is the latest documentary from co-directors Petra Epperlein and Michael Tucker. Let me state upfront that this isn't just another documentary on Hitler. It's a complex film that borders on a college class in character studies, with lots of talking heads making psychiatric and philosophic points about the rise and fall of Hitler. And yes, the parallels between Hitler and Trump are made in a chilling way. But it's not just Trump of course. Watch how the film makers trace the rising nationalism in various parts in Europe, notably Poland and Hungary. But plenty of other interesting points are made about the concept of was and peace. A tour guide in Berlin is asked "how did the Nazis invade Germany?". No, really. But here is the most chilling point: when asked if "it" can happen again, the 80-something professor and authority on the Holocaust responds simply "yes" (and then explains why--just watch!).

"The Meaning of Hitler" premiered on the film festival circuit in the Fall of 2020, and it opened out of the blue this weekend at my local arthouse theater here in Cincinnati. The Friday early evening screening where I saw this at was attended so-so, exactly 9 people including myself. If you have any interest in understanding how Hitler rose to power in Germany, and why something like that could happen again in the West, I'd readily suggest you check this out, be it in the theater, on VOD, or eventually on DVD/Blu-ray, and draw your own conclusion.

Reviewed by samkan 2 / 10


Assortment of Hitler -Nazi themed, but otherwise unrelated people, events, stories, etc. Absolutely no central theme, no chronology and limited context. Apologies to many well spoken experts possibly unaware editors were third-graders. The title is as obscure as it is misleading. At best the film portrays contemporary neo-nazis and right-leaning groups. What is the meaning of "The meaning of Hitler"?

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