Anyone who saw the very funny and appealing German/
Jewish family comedy Go for Zucker (2004) will probably want to see what its director/co-writer Dani Levy (shown below) can do with a comedy about Adolph Hitler. The opportunity is now here, as Herr Levy's unusual film, made in 2007, has arrived at last. The press materials refer to
MY FÜHRER as "the bastard love child of Charlie Chaplin's The Great Dictator and Mel Brooks' The Producers." To which I might add George Stevens' The Greatest Story Ever Told, Nazi-style.
My (and Shakespeare's) point is that comparisons are odious. Expect neither the amazing inspiration of Chaplin, the all-out zaniness of Brooks, nor even the placid pageantry found in Mr. Stevens' retelling of an apocryphal tale. While there is a good deal of inspiration, humor and even pageantry to Levy's odd mix, there is also satire and irony aplenty. Topping it off is the tone: rueful, a little suspicious and above all humane. Set toward the end of WWII, My Führer posits that, with Berlin half in ruins, only a new and energizing speech from Hitler might turn the tide and placate the country. Unfortunately, Adolf is depressed and in terrible shape. Might Germany's greatest acting coach be able to solve this situation? Unfortunately, he's Jewish and he and the family are vacationing at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp.