I recently had the pleasure of watching a German Dark Comedy and Social Commentary titled “Look Who’s Back”. The movie follows everyone’s favourite monster Adolf Hitler as he finds himself magically transported to modern-day Germany where he ends up quickly becoming a popular comedian. The movie starts out kind of silly and very aware of the kind of humour they are playing with, but it ends with a very bitter commentary about how little we have all really changed since Hitler took power.
I would urge you to stop reading this right now and go watch the movie. A lot of what I am going to say will spoil a lot in the interest of aiding me in my points.
A friend of mine came to me a few months ago with this film understanding my terrible sense of humor and my fascination with the darker side of history. The amount of research I have done into the Nazi Regime and it’s effects on Germany is stupid, especially since I will probably never do anything with this information. As soon as she told me it was a “comedy about Hitler in modern Germany” I was interested but not enough to jump on it immediately. Fast forward to last week when I found myself in the mood for a dumb comedy, I thought “Look who’s back” would be that movie. I was in for a shock.
The film starts out with a few well placed jokes and a bit of a silly undertone to help displace the sense of unease you feel over watching Adolf Hitler walking through present day Berlin.Watching Oliver Mascucci as a confused yet determined Hitler is both amusing and terrifying in equal amounts, especially as he begins to interview the people of Germany. It isn’t long before racism, prejudice and fear-mongering brings the previous Dictator fame as a Comedian who tells it like it is. It’s okay though, because it’s all just a joke! Right?
As the viewer you sit in horror as the jokes seamlessly fade away and you watch as people are pulled in and their locked up prejudices are justified. There is a scene when a TV station employee brings up to his boss how offensive it is to be idolizing a Hitler impersonator, he is told to lighten up and to stop being ridiculous. People are just falling for this man as he asks them about the problems in their society. Immigrants they say.
Your heart sinks and you think “No. No. This wouldn’t happen again”.
Oh, but it would. Hitler in the movie doesn’t mention anything too radical and anything people deem as “offensive” is marked off as satire. You can’t help but draw lines between this and the Trump campaign. I’m not saying Trump is a genocidal maniac, what I am saying is that a fully developed society can be lead into putting their faith in a leader possessing nothing but the ability to play on fear. You would think we have evolved into a world were everyone knows how to think for themselves and is able to question everything yet you listen to some folks voting for Trump and you can’t help but feel concern.
It’s not even really about Trump compared to Hitler at this point, instead it’s about people. The people voting for Trump are so desperate for the things he is promising that they don’t stop to think how he will achieve these things. Case and point: Immigrants. I won’t even begin to get into just how much of the American tech industry relies on University educated immigrants to fill high paying positions due to the lack of qualified Americans. Makes you wonder what would happen when these immigrants are either forced out or denied entry to begin with before the American education system is given a chance to play catch up with an equivalent amount of graduates. None of that matters though because a Politician said he could make it better for you, he can iron out all the specifics once he takes office I’m sure.
You see, we want people to come in and make all our problems go away and in the heat of the moment we don’t care how. They’re the politician after all and they should have all the answers. We think we would never make the same mistakes again and let someone in that may hurt us in the long run but to be honest you just don’t know sometimes. It can be hard to read people, to work out how honest they are or how serious they may be about something. For risk of sounding cheesy, I think that’s the cruelest joke “Look who’s back” plays on its viewer. We have to watch as Germans, once again, begin to put their trust in the man who destroyed them so many years ago.
I’ll urge you once again to take the time to watch this movie. Oliver Mascucci does an amazing job as Adolf Hitler and the supporting cast does a wonderful job in breaking up the uncomfortable way Mascucci makes you feel. I want to watch this movie again just because I loved it so much but I feel like I need a few more showers before I’m ready for another viewing just yet.
I’ve been in a writers slump for a while and I’ve been unable to string any thoughts together to make a post but writing this has made me feel a bit better! I really enjoyed writing a sort of review/commentary about a movie I liked and I think I’m going to do a few more until I get my mojo back. Thank for reading folks
Till next time, stay tobly awesome!
I know I will.