IFC Films acquired Petra Epperlein and Michael Tucker’s documentary The Meaning of Hitler, a thought-provoking exploration of the lasting cultural fascination with the Nazi dictator and its resonance on present day politics. IFC Films will release the film later this year.
Directed by Petra Epperlein and Michael Tucker and filmed over the course of four years, the documentary takes its framework from Sebastian Haffner’s 1978 best selling book of the same title, dismantling the aura of legend surrounding Hitler’s life through interviews with subjects including Martin Amis, Saul Friedländer, Sir Richard Evans, Yehuda Bauer, and famed Nazi hunters Beate and Serge Klarsfeld.
The Meaning of Hitler is a provocative interrogation of our culture’s fascination with Hitler and Nazism set against the backdrop of the current rise of white supremacy, the normalization of antisemitism, and the weaponization of history itself. Shot in nine countries, the film traces Hitler’s movements, his rise to power, and the scenes of his crimes through the lens of key locations in his life as historians, writers, and scholars weigh in on the lasting impact of his virulent ideology. As fears of authoritarianism and fascism now abound, the film explores the myths and misconceptions of our understanding of the past, and the difficult process of coming to terms with it at a time in our history when it seems more urgent than ever.
“In the wake of a politically tumultuous year, The Meaning of Hitler could not be more timely and we are honored to have IFC as a partner to bring the film to American audiences,” said Petra Epperlein, the film’s co-director and producer. “If there is any take-away from the recent past, it’s that history matters.”