This black comedy docu-drama draws you in immediately, curious to witness both real and acted reactions to the emergence in contemporary Berlin (initially) of a resurrected Adolf Hitler!
The styling and acting of JB in the part is convincing enough to command attention from all who encounter him – many amused or charmed by this phenomenon. Even the actor playing the TV reporter who sees a golden career opportunity in covering – indeed championing – the story is horrified in the moment that he realises that he has been giving oxygen to the REAL Hitler!
Early on in the film he takes him on tour around Germany and one of the first events betraying Hitler’s psychopathology is when he shoots a small dog that a breeder is showing them in cold blood as a reaction to a bit of snarling. The reporter is alarmed but decides not to challenge or alienate this character as he recognises this scoop story may rescue his career…
As the story rolls on AH passionately articulates his somewhat bigotted opinions on nationalism et cetera, confidently assuming a position of leadership with all who he encounters, and people continue to be charmed – enjoying the transparency with which this individual is prepared to share his controversial opinions – very resonant with current characters such as Trump or Farage on the Far Right today – who see themselves as rebelling against the “political correctness” we have become accustomed to hearing from more centrist/liberal politicians and the mainstream media. The expression/concept of PCorrectness of course suggests that people expressing racially egalitarian views may be doing it only because of current social norms, and not because they genuinely embody these humanistic non-supremacistic views.
Of course the film finds and shows us plenty of individuals who today still harbour xenophobic nationalistic views. An essential part of the psychology of the coloniser has for centuries been to be programmed with notions of racial supremacy – the idea that the coloniser is patronising the colonised by civilising the savages with unspeakable savagery (illustrated in the colonisation of Ireland in Loaches “Wind that Shakes The Barley”). This story being so steeped in several layers of self-deception – the myth of racial purity, the fiction of an Aryan Race – when our DNA tells us quite clearly that we ALL originate from Africa and so literally were enslaving and murdering our ancestral relatives during the era of slavery and colonial genocide on that particular continent. Of course colonial mythologies help to justify occupation of these ancestral lands and extraction of any precious resources. I digress. (Daydreaming about The People insisting on the best genetic laboratories reporting on the DNA of racists such as Trump & Farage)
LWB is also about the mainstream media and how it sells out to the lowest common denominator – as long as it hits audience number targets and “sells papers”. Let us not forget that it is owned and dominated by elitist interests, arguably this includes our national public licence funded BBC, where members of the economic elite sit on the board, and so-called impartial/neutral BBC news has never delivered a balanced contextual account of the Palestine-Israel conflict – owning up to British/US colonial responsibilites in creating the context or admitting the illegality and brutality of the Israeli settlements – a fine example of contemporary colonisation. It is only in the ending section that a Jewish woman from the original Nazi era…