My Führer (DVD Review)14 Jan, 2010 By: John Latchem
Box Office $0.002 million
In German with English subtitles.
Stars Ulrich Mühe, Sylvester Groth.
The German farce My Führer shares a few traits with Quentin Tarantino’s recent Inglourious Basterds. Both are relentless in ridiculing the Nazis. Both present a bizarre plot to kill Hitler that doesn’t mesh with actual history. And both feature Sylvester Groth as minister of propaganda Joseph Goebbels.
But where Groth played Goebbels as an effeminate lackey in Basterds, in My Führer he presents the Third Reich’s No. 2 man as a politically shrewd tactician serving as Hitler’s puppet master.
But My Führer is not about Goebbels. It is about a Jewish actor brought in by Goebbels to prepare Hitler for one last grand speech designed to inspire the German people to repel the Allied invasion after D-Day.
Goebbels wants Hitler to deliver the speech in Berlin on Jan. 1, 1945. But Hitler is too depressed and is questioning his convictions. Goebbels drags Hitler’s former acting teacher, Adolf Grünbaum (Ulrich Mühe), out of a concentration camp in an attempt to prepare the führer for the speech.
Grünbaum plays along, hoping to get an opportunity to kill Hitler himself, but he finds his former student to be a pathetic, impotent egomaniac worthy of pity.
The satire is more clever than funny, and even a bit sinister in its dark comedic overtones. But the story is rather ingenious and leads to a hilarious conclusion worthy of Mel Brooks. History buffs with a good sense of humor and a taste for irony would do well to check out My Führer.