IFC Films has acquired North American rights to “The Meaning of Hitler,” Petra Epperlein and Michael Tucker’s thought-provoking documentary about the enduring cultural fascination with the Nazi dictator and its resonance on contemporary politics.
Filmed over the course of four years, the documentary is set against the backdrop of the current rise of white supremacy and anti-Semitism, and explores the myths and misconceptions of our understanding of the past. Shot in nine countries, “The Meaning of Hitler” traces the dictator’s movements, his rise to power, and the scenes of his crimes through the lens of key locations in his life.
The documentary’s framework is inspired by Sebastian Haffner’s 1978 best-selling book of the same title, which dismantled the legend surrounding Hitler’s life through interviews with subjects including Martin Amis, Saul Friedländer, Richard Evans, Yehuda Bauer and famed Nazi hunters Beate and Serge Klarsfeld.
“Petra and Michael’s documentaries stand out for their political urgency and nuanced yet provocative approach, and their latest work in ‘The Meaning of Hitler’ is no exception,” said IFC Films president Arianna Bocco, who negotiated the deal with Cinetic, which represented the filmmakers.
“Their examination of Hitler’s lasting cultural draw in the face of the continued normalization of white supremacy and anti-Semitism is nothing less than essential, and we’re thrilled to have the chance to partner with them and bring this important dialogue to audiences,” said Bocco. IFC Films will release the film later this year.
The film, which world-premiered at DOC NYC, is produced by Epperlein, Tucker, Dana O’Keefe and Mike Lerner from Means of Production, and executive produced by Jeffrey Lurie, Marie Therese Guirgis and Anthony Dobkin. “The Meaning of Hitler” is a production of Uwaga Films and Play/Action Pictures.
“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 Epperlein. “If there is any takeaway from the recent past, it’s that history matters.”
Autlook Filmsales is handling international rights to the film.