I’ve seen a lot of documentaries in my life that follow the typical “Meet the ________” format: Meet the Mormons, The Most Hated Family in America, Extraordinary People (to name a few.) So when I heard about Matthew Ogens’s Meet the Hitlers, I knew I had to watch it. My desire to watch Meet the Hitlers didn’t just come from my love of documentaries, though. My grandmother was born in Sudentenland, a small piece of land that Germany and Czechoslovakia had been fighting over for decades. Due to the constant change in borders, my grandmother was classified as Czech-German. She immigrated to America right after World War I. But even though she had lived in America for years before World War II, my grandmother always felt ashamed for being German. She used to speak really carefully because she didn’t want anyone to hear her accent, and she never showed any pride in her country for fear of being hated. She never told me a lot about her past, so I hoped watching this documentary would give me some insight into her life. I was immediately intrigued when I started watching because it took a different turn than I was expecting. I thought this documentary would focus on Adolf Hitler’s family: his parents and half-brother. And it did to a certain extent. But what this documentary actually does is take viewers into the lives of people around the world with the last name Hitler (or first name, in some cases) who are not related or connected to the notorious German leader at all. It was really fascinating to see everyone’s perspectives. Some of the cast, like 16-year-old Emily Hittler and Jim Riswold, had a light-hearted attitude. While others, like Heath Campbell, Hitler Gutierrez, and Romano Hitler, had much more negative attitudes. Speaking of Heath Campbell, this documentary opens a can of worms by including him in the cast. For those that don’t know, Heath Campbell named his son Adolf Hitler Campbell, resulting in the Division of Child Protection and Permanency taking the child away. Campbell claims to not be a Nazi, though he regularly wears a Nazi uniform and is covered from head to toe in World War II related tattoos. If nothing else, watch this documentary to see him. Aside from interviewing a bunch of people, the documentary also follows journalist David Gardner as he tries to find Adolf Hitler’s real, last-surviving relatives. Seeing as Adolf didn’t have any children of his own, Gardner traces the bloodline of his half-brother, Alois Hitler Jr. This was frustrating because Alois’s four grandchildren – supposedly the last remaining relatives of Adolf – refused to be interviewed, which still leaves the history and personal life of Adolf shrouded in mystery. I liked this documentary; I thought it was entertaining and diverse. The name Hitler has become sort of a taboo word, so I think it is important for people to separate their feelings towards one man from a thousand other people with the same name. Imagine what it would be like if Adolf Hitler was actually Adolf Smith. A name doesn’t make a person, but it’s kind of sad how one person can ruin a name for every else. You don’t have to be a history buff to appreciate the amazing stories these families tell. As for me, I can better understand my grandmother’s hesitancy to talk, but just because she can’t feel pride in her country doesn’t mean I can’t. Adolf Hitler and his beliefs don’t define Germany, and he certainly doesn’t define the people featured in this film. See larger image Morgan Spurlock Presents Meet the Hitlers Meet the Hitlers is a feature documentary that examines the relationship between names and identity, by exploring the lives of people who are linked by the name ‘Hitler.’ The film raises important questions about the meaning of names, and explores complex issues like immigration, racism and tolerance. Yet it’s ultimately a character-driven story, offering an intimate portrait of its subjects, whose reactions to their name span the spectrum of human experience, from tragedy to comedy, and heartbreak to hope. New From: $5.83 USD In Stock Share this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.