23
Sep
16

Look Who’s Back

Like many people, I have a morbid fascination with World War II and the Third Reich. Seventy years later, we still produce movies and books set in this era. It was a pivotal time, perhaps the most important in human history. And with the Nazi party being so ludicrously evil, well, it’s hard not to be fascinated by them. Fascination is not the same thing as condoning, mind you. They were evil personified, and it’s hard not to examine them. So, when I heard about the 2014 German film, Look Who’s Back, I jumped at the chance to watch it.

Look Who’s Back is simultaneously one of the most hilarious and frightening films I have seen in a very long time. The premise is brilliant: Adolf Hitler wakes up in modern-day Germany, and everyone he encounters thinks he’s a method actor doing performance art. But he isn’t doing anything like that, he’s the Fuhrer, and he wants to seize control again.

Hitler meets a down-on-his-luck documentary filmmaker, and the two of them team up. The filmmaker thinks he is recording an extraordinarily dedicated up-and-coming actor, and Hitler already understands the importance of film propaganda. This unlikely duo traverse Germany, meeting people, and mapping out the morals, values, and political situation of modern Germany.

Their gamble is a success, and they catch the eye of a major broadcast network. Hitler (who everyone laughs at because he’s hilarious), gets a guest spot on a popular network comedy show. His spot gets such explosive ratings, he is soon a regular and outshines the host of the series. The audience loves him; they can’t get enough Hitler!

The comedy comes from a basic fish-out-of-water premise. Hitler the time traveler tries to navigate through seventy years of progress, and is confounded by much of it. The part that got the biggest laughs from me is when he learns about the Internet. He tries to make an email account, but his name, Adolf Hitler, is already taken. Of course it is. Who wouldn’t want that email address?

Many of his tyrannical statements are anachronistic, and come off as baffoonishly comical, having no place in the modern world. The film’s characters laugh at him for these statements, no matter how horrible and dark they may get. And, to be honest, some of them are really funny.

But Look Who’s Back isn’t a feel-good comedy. It also has a statement to make. The movie becomes frightening during impromptu segments where Hitler mingles with the general populace. These were filmed in real locations with real Germans, and whatever they said or did really happened. Instead of being repulsed by Hitler, the vast majority of people were excited to see him. “Hitler selfie!” one person enthusiastically cries out before they take a photo together. People ask him to bring back labor camps, and law and order, among other horrifying statements. Seeing a representation of one of the world’s most infamous men doesn’t send people running away from him. Quite the opposite, in fact, they run toward him, and treat him like a rock star.

In the scripted part, Hitler quickly gains a new following. He is able to whip people back into a fervor, and these people dedicate their lives to him. He looks around at the German people who are already railing against the Middle-Eastern refugee crisis, and he says to himself, “I can work with this.”

The message of the film is quite clear. Humanity hasn’t grown much since the horrors of the Third Reich, World War II, and the Holocaust. It is naïve to think we have matured as a species. We haven’t. The dark side is real and ever-present, and it is easy to fall back into that trap if we aren’t careful. A new Hitler could rise to power. Humanity needs to rein in its hateful xenophobia, lest we repeat one of the darkest chapters of our history.

As a film, Look Who’s Back is really incredible. It is darkly funny, cringe-inducing, horrifying, and fascinating all at once. I enjoyed every aspect of it, and I encourage you to check it out.

Verdict: Awesome

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1 Response to “Look Who’s Back”


  1. December 30, 2016 at 2:38 am

    Have you seen 2004’s Der Untergang yet?


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