Dear Friend Hitler, a Bollywood film that appears to have a curiously lighthearted attitude towards the genocidal dictator, has lost its star. Actor Anupam Kher pulled out of the film after protests from India’s Jewish community.
On the face of it, there’s nothing unusual about making a film about Hitler’s final days; from Hitler: The Last Ten Days to Downfall, Westerners have been doing it for years. But none of those films had a title like Dear Friend Hitler and none of them had statements like from the director:
“[The film is focusing on] Hitler’s love for India and how he indirectly contributed to Indian independence. … It aims to capture the personality of Adolf Hitler and his insecurities, his charisma and his paranoia during the last few days of his life.”
NewsFeed probably should not have to mention that Hitler was a white supremacist who did not love India nor contribute particularly to Indian independence. And to call him ‘charismatic’ is … problematic, as the academics like to say. (Readers who are unconvinced can read The Guardian‘s take.)
The frankly-wholly-appropriate storm of controversy the project inspired from Indian Jews caused Kher to reconsider his involvement with the project. “Sometimes human emotions are more important than cinema,” he said on Twitter.
If the film is completed, it will be the first ever Bollywood film about Hitler. Neha Dhupia, a former Miss India who is to play Eva Braun, remains with the project. (via The A.V. Club)