Look Who’s Back

For our family, Friday nights are frequently a time to de-stress at the end of the work week. We eat dinner together then curl up in front of the television to watch a movie together.

That can sometimes add to the stress as we try to decide what to watch (usually on Netflix). Three people with very different tastes doesn’t generate conflict, but it can take some time to reach a mutually agreeable decision.

Last night my daughter was out, which made choosing easier. My wife suggested we watch a stupid comedy, something mindless.

I couldn’t find a sillier description than the one for a film I’d never heard of before, a 2016 film titled Look Who’s Back. “When Adolf Hitler reawakens at the site of his former bunker 70 years later, he’s mistaken for a brilliant comedian and becomes a media phenomenon.”

That had to be the silliest premise for a film I had seen in a while, and I have seen some silly ones. We figured we’d take a chance.

The film is in German, with English subtitles. It is a comedy, but not a silly one. Actually, I’m not sure it is really a comedy. Rather it is a thought provoking film with some extremely funny moments.

The acting is superb.  Oliver Masucci is believable as Adolf Hitler. What is really scary is he is also very likeable. The film almost seems like a documentary. I think much of what “Hitler” has to say would definitely resonate with modern Germany (or modern Canada for that matter). We have a leadership void that make an authoritarian figure extremely appealing to a large segment of the population, someone who listens to their grievances and who can articulate their hopes and dreams. As “Hitler” points out, he was elected. (What he doesn’t mention is that subsequent elections were cancelled.)

I don’t want to give too much away of what happens – I’m hoping you will watch the film yourself and enjoy it. Once you accept the premise, that Adolf Hitler could emulate Rip Van Winkle and wake up in modern Berlin, the rest is pretty easy to accept. Hitler behaves as you would expect him to. Public reaction is mixed, which is where some of the comedic moments come in.

This is the sort of movie that is funny the first time you watch it, and probably funnier the second time. On my first visit to Germany, in 1986, I wondered what it would take to see the return of National Socialism and how the German people would react. Perhaps this film gives us a glimpse.

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