The battle between the Hollywood juggernaut and indigenous filmmaking for dominance of Europe’s cinemas lies at the heart of the provocative and intermittently amusing mockumentary “Hitler in Hollywood,” from Belgian helmer Frederic Sojcher. Portuguese-born, Paris-based actress-director Maria de Medeiros winningly plays a camp version of herself as a documaker who discovers evidence of a conspiracy while working on a biopic of iconic French star Micheline Presle. Packed with cameo appearances by celebrities in settings such as the Cannes Film Festival, this playful Karlovy Vary Fipresci winner should brighten pan-European smallscreens after niche theatrical and fest runs.
When Micheline reveals that one of her favorite directors is now-unknown Luis Aramcheck (Hans Meyer), it leads Maria and her amorous cameraman, Thomas (Wim Willaert), on an increasingly dangerous course through the archives of national film and security organizations and the homes of private collectors. Helmer Sojcher also satirizes the means of production, using camera tricks that make the kookily costumed Maria appear in vivid color while others seem almost monochrome. Not-to-be-missed end credits include a parade of Euro auteurs, including centenarian Manoel de Oliveira, discussing the demise of the European film industry.