WWhat the world needs now is a biopic or Netflix series about Adolf Hitler that is really nice about him. You know, fully licensed and endorsed by the family. Although, now that I think about it, I’m not sure how pro-Hitler the rest of the Hitlers are currently. Or if there are any of them around. My suspicion is that the remaining Hitlers have likely gone the way of the Dahl in terms of disassociating themselves from the discredited antics of their famous relatives.
I felt a bit sorry for the Dahl family last month when they issued their apologies for Roald’s anti-Semitic remarks. Just because they have so much at stake financially to prevent Roald Dahl from being canceled posthumously doesn’t mean they don’t sincerely abhor his anti-Semitism. Statistically speaking, it is highly unlikely that they are secret Jewish haters who only claim to disagree with Roald for reasons of financial interest. It’s overwhelmingly likely that their consciences and their own financial interests are haphazardly aligned, such as when people don’t give money to homeless people in case they spend it on drinks.
However, unfortunately, regardless of what the family thinks or says, the guy who wrote the books was unapologetic. It is a bummer to the Dahl that the only Dahl who is anti-Semitic is also the only Dahl who has left a hugely lucrative literary heritage. Personally, I’m happy to buy and read Roald Dahl’s books (the stories don’t seem anti-Semitic), but I’m not sure I’m that optimistic about personally funding a new multi-million pound film adaptation of one of those books and that would be primarily a financial self-interest rather than a matter of conscience. But I guess I could always put Johnny Depp at the helm and hope that he and Dahl would cancel each other out.
Obviously, the Hitlers are in a very different situation. I do not know what income there is, but I doubt that its reputation depends in the same way. More the other way around. You would have to be a neo-Nazi to want one of Adolf’s paintings on the wall. Frankly, the fact that he painted them is the only good thing about them. I mean okay? Be unable. Paintings suck, but Hitler is very famous, is what I’m saying. For the record, I don’t think Hitler is good.
However, a biopic that made him look good could be instructive, especially if it didn’t contain anything demonstrably false. You could make it look good by default: so he’s painting in Vienna, he’s fighting bravely in WWI, he’s having a beer in a jolly brewery (no need to see the actual hit), he’s written a book (gloss about the details, but it sells well), he’s kind to animals, he’s predominantly vegetarian, he orders the highways and then cuts to the bunker where he looks like he’s contracting Parkinson’s disease. Poor guy.
The reason I’m so interested in this truth-filled misrepresentation is that I’m absolutely sick of people wondering if true-life dramas are “the truth” or not, like it’s binary, like you have or not COVID-19. The topic made the news again last week due to the furore over the upcoming David Bowie biopic, Stardust, that Bowie’s friends, family, and devotees don’t like and didn’t authorize. As music journalist Michael Oberman, whose brother was Bowie’s American publicist, told a newspaper: “I am portrayed in this movie. My brother Ron appears in this movie. My mother is portrayed in this movie. Neither representation is accurate. In fact, they are degrading. “
But just because they are demeaning doesn’t necessarily mean they are not accurate. It could easily be both! I wonder if it is the inaccuracies or the clarifications that Bowie loyalists primarily oppose. Johnny Flynn, who pretends to be Bowie in the movie (and he It is not Bowie, who surely proof that the movie is everything lies!), has defended it, saying that it has a “journalistic tone” and achieves “objectivity” by virtue of “not being in bed with the farm.” Debatable.
He also defends the fact that the film has not been allowed to use Bowie’s music: “Nobody cares if I sing David Bowie songs, just as I am not interested in Rami Malek singing Queen songs.” Rami Malek played Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody and he made it interesting enough to win the Oscar for best actor. But maybe Flynn has higher aspirations.
Anyway, Flynn will do other things that Bowie did that are much more interesting than singing his songs. Management and meetings and… singing other people’s songs, maybe? Abba or George Formby. Or TV themes! It would be an interesting juxtaposition. I would love to hear Flynn’s Bowie perform some Dennis Waterman classics or a hummed approximation of Ski sunday. Still, it’s ironic that Bowie’s own ownership prevented the film from depicting Bowie doing the one thing he undoubtedly did: sing his own songs.
It was the recent series of The crown That started this whole round of stupid discussions and gave Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden a chance to show that it’s not just the departments of housing, health, international trade, foreign affairs, home affairs, and education that are run by complete idiots. “[The Crown] It is a beautifully produced work of fiction, so as with other television productions, Netflix must be very clear at first that it is just that, “he told a newspaper.
I do not know where to start. Do “other television productions” do that? Make EastEnders or Midsomer murders? I was in a comedy called Peep show – I don’t think we ever specified that it was fictitious. AND The crown it is not primarily fictional. Obviously, not everything can be true; no one can know what those people actually said to each other in those private rooms. Therefore, it is bound to involve speculation, invention, and dramatic license, and is therefore inevitably informed by the opinions and perspectives of the writers. But that’s different from totally made-up fiction and it’s different from raw CCTV footage.
Everything is a bit complicated. But it’s not new, Shakespeare did it a lot. But perhaps my loving Hitler biopic will help the secretary of culture and others to realize that, in drama, the truth is more than the mere absence of lies.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism