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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Holocaust > Gay > Hidden Fuhrer - Debating The Enigma Of Hitler's Sexuality

Hidden Fuhrer: Debating The Enigma Of Hitlerís Sexuality

 

Picture: C+†††† Sound: C+†††† Extras: C+†††† Documentary: B

 

 

Was Adolf Hitler gay?Why after 70 years is this a question that makes people laugh?There are so many reasons, which unfortunately include anti-Semitism, homophobia and just the fact that what his agenda was based on was the total opposite.However, no one considers how true this might actually be and the usual documentaries of the time and most of them to date do not even acknowledge the existence of homosexuals except for the rare times they discuss how they were experimented on and exterminated by The Nazis.Hidden Fuhrer: Debating The Enigma Of Hitlerís Sexuality (2004) cannot help but be amusing because it is impossible to approach the subject without even a chuckle.

 

That the idea feels like a bad TV tabloid show or straight-to-video exploitation release on the shelf with items like U.F.O.s and other craziness would seem likely, but this documentary is different and much better.Directors Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato strike again!The team that has given us gems like The Eyes Of Tammy Faye and Inside Deep Throat (both reviewed elsewhere on this site) is back with an examination of the Lothar Machtan book The Hidden Hitler, which has been the subject of more debate than you would think.Since the more serious side of the subject is too touchy, the mainstream media (who would pick up on this instantly) has avoided it.However, this is a fascinating look at the homoeroticism of the Naziís brand of Fascism that still lingers strongly with Neo-Nazi skinhead groups of today and in the art of The Third Reich (cold or not, its body-obsessed images are too easily dismissed as non-erotic for all kinds of fascinating reasons) as people throughout the film debate the book.

 

Though the film is primarily about Hitlerís past, much of which historically has gayness in it, the project evolves into something deeper, funnier and more multi-faceted than expected.Hitler did have many gay connections and that certainly included those he had massacred in the ďnight of the long knivesĒ and the only flaw in this production is not discussing that aspect enough as further evidence.With what is here, there is more than enough to back up the idea that he was at least very bi-sexual and actively so during his early political years and then some, even if you discount some of the statements as hearsay (and do not bust a gut laughing about some of them) if you want to give pro-Hitler (read pro-homophobic and anti-gay) critics the benefit of the doubt.

 

Of course, Hitler had the chance to deny all kinds of things, destroy all kinds of evidence (including people and witnesses) who could have confirmed this.The patriarchal establishment worldwide hates to admit any gay or bi-sexual man could have gone that far and had that much power, even if it was one as mad as Hitler.Just think about the recent controversy over Oliver Stoneís Alexander (2004) and not because it was a problematic film, but that the original theatrical cut had all kinds of homosexuality (however limited in it) that got some Greek lawyers with nothing else to do threaten to sue Stone and Warner Bros.!

 

The problem is that anything you could say was true of Hitler (like self-hate; he did not live up to his own Aryan superman, super-beauty standards) could be the kind of stereotypes you could use against any minority, including homosexuals.With pre-Nazi Germany offering what is still a peak of pro-Gay, gay freedom still ever known to man, there is no way whatsoever he could have avoided it.Machtan is here in person arguing with all kinds of critics and at least narrowing down criticisms that try to debunk his ideas.When all is said and done, Hitlerís sexuality is never totally confirmed as heterosexual and since he was working so closely with so many who betrayed their own in that community, it never will.Hidden Fuhrer is another winner from the Bailey/Barbato team who are on a role that not even Michael Moore can compete with.

 

The 1.33 X 1 image is of mixed quality as any documentary that offers nearly 100 years of footage would be, while with Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo does not have any real surrounds, but is solid and offers a variety of audio sources going back to old German music recordings and sound newsreel footage.The recordings of those reading English translations is sometimes forward and always funny, almost making one wonder if this was intentional or not.Either way, the combination is just fine for a production like this and the editing is also good, though sometimes a hoot.Extras included 44:40 of extra interview analyses worth your time and some trailers for other Strand DVD releases.

 

 

-†† Nicholas Sheffo


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