What better film for a dance sequence?

The world media are buzzing with news of “Dear Friend Hitler” a new bollywood film about the romance between Adolph Hitler and Eva Braun, starring Anupam Kher as Hitler and former Miss India, Neha Dhupia, as Eva Braun:

The director of the film characterizes it as a “romance,” and … “[r]eports have suggested that the script includes a scene where Hitler and Miss Braun are in bed–although this has not been confirmed. [link]

The movie’s title comes from letters sent by M.K. Gandhi to Hitler, which addressed him as “Dear Friend” [link]. As we’ve noted previously, Mein Kampf has long been popular in India, most lately as a management book in the same mold as “Who moved my cheese” so nobody in India will object to the idea of Hitler as friend to the nation.

Kher has been cast for his supposed resemblance to Hitler, and Dhupia for the scintillating wisdom and insight she brings to bear, such as this product of her extensive research:

“How do you marry the most hated man in the world? I think it’s by taking each day at a time,” [link]

Luckily, we already know how Hitler feels about Bollywood:

Lastly, all the news stories agree that there are no plans for any dance sequences in this film, which is a shame because (a) I suspect that the dancing is the only thing that would make this film watchable for me and (b) I’d love to see the love dances from this movie performed at a wedding. (Mutineers, you are warned!) Since there’s no word yet about whether there will be any songs (without the dance) I remain hopeful.

90 thoughts on “What better film for a dance sequence?

  1. Yes, the Bollywood actors portraying Hitler and Braun are so Aryan looking…. (or Scythian???) Oy vey. or more like Ayyo Rama…

    Is Dupia going blonde for the role?

  2. Yes, the Bollywood actors portraying Hitler and Braun are so Aryan looking…. (or Scythian???) Oy vey. or more like Ayyo Rama…

    Turnabout is fair play. If Hollywood can get away with giving us lily-White, golden-tressed Romans and Greeks who always speak with vaguely English accents for some reason, then Mumbai’s film industry is entitled to take some licenses.

  3. From the last link : “One of the film’s producers said that “if we should thank anybody for Indian freedom, it should be Hitler” — a reference to how Britain’s war effort exhausted its finances, contributing to its relinquishing control over its former Empire. “But just because you delve into the mind of Hitler does not mean that you condone his barbarism,” the producer added. “

    I don’t think anyone should be thanking hitler for anything. Especially us Indians. Most Caucasians who embrace Hitler’s ideas would love to see Indians and all other “mud people” (the Neo Nazi term for non whites) wiped off the face of the earth.

    Or maybe the Indians who admire hitler consider themselves “braun” not brown. Seriously, it’s best to avoid Nazis and other racist scumbag losers if you are not white.

  4. Did these morons even realize that Hitler had no love for India? It was a convenient tool for him. Bose had no other options at the time and so I dont blame him for seeking Hitler’s help. I can’t remember offhand. But I think I remember at some point that Hitler even thought Britain’s colonization of India was not a bad thing, except for his own ambitions to dominate England.

    It’s great that as much as the producers of Downfall try, they cannot get rid of all the Downfall parodies. Hitler bashing Bollywood is hilarious and so spot on. COMCAST ON DEMAND had a few preview of a couple of Bollywood movies. One movie was something with Akshay Kumar as a stuntman who has some rivalry with Kareena Kapoor. Crapola majorista. What a turd.

  5. Now, about the quote from the last link provided by the post (again): “One of the film’s producers said that “if we should thank anybody for Indian freedom, it should be Hitler” I really think Gandhi and other Indian freedom fighters should be thanked. I think one of the film’s producers has been smoking too many bidis. Or maybe I have to smoke too many bidis to understand his strange statement.

  6. Calling a megalomaniac a friend (Hitler) is truly shocking but I guess Bapu always had his ways…talk about being an extreme pacifist/Gandhian :) However, I gotta hand it to the man who with his weapon of choice–the walking stick brought the British empire to its knees.

    For those who think the Nazis were trying to be friendly with the Indians think again…”During a meeting with Lord Halifax in 1938, Hitler had pledged his support to the preservation of the British empire and offered his formula for dealing with the Indian National Congress: kill Gandhi, if that isn’t enough then kill the other leaders too, if that isn’t enough then two hundred more activists, and so on until the Indian people will give up the hope of independence. Gandhi may of course have been unaware of Hitler’s advice, but it would also be charac­teristically Gandhian to remain friendly towards his own would-be killer….”

    “What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty or democracy?” ~ Gandhi

  7. The director seems like a huge moron, Dupia is an airhead, but I am pretty disappointed that Kher would put his fingerprints on this this train wreck. Oh the plight of an aging actor…

  8. Orwell in ‘Reflections of Gandhi’

    …Even after he(Gandhi) had completely abjured violence he was honest enough to see that in war it is usually necessary to take sides. He did not – indeed, since his whole political life centered round a struggle for national independence, he could not – take the sterile and dishonest line of pretending that in every war both sides are exactly the same and it makes no difference who wins. Nor did he, like most Western pacifists, specialize in avoiding awkward questions. In relation to the late war, one question that every pacifist had a clear obligation to answer was: “What about the Jews? Are you prepared to see them exterminated? If not, how do you propose to save them without resorting to war?” I must say that I have never heard, from any Western pacifist, an honest answer to this question, though I have heard plenty of evasions, usually of the “you’re another” type. But it so happens that Gandhi was asked a somewhat similar question in 1938 and that his answer is on record in Mr. Louis Fischer’s Gandhi and Stalin. According to Mr. Fischer, Gandhi’s view was that the German Jews ought to commit collective suicide, which “would have aroused the world and the people of Germany to Hitler’s violence.” After the war he justified himself: the Jews had been killed anyway, and might as well have died significantly. One has the impression that this attitude staggered even so warm an admirer as Mr. Fischer, but Gandhi was merely being honest. If you are not prepared to take life, you must often be prepared for lives to be lost in some other way. When, in 1942, he urged non-violent resistance against a Japanese invasion, he was ready to admit that it might cost several million deaths. At the same time there is reason to think that Gandhi, who after all was born in 1869, did not understand the nature of totalitarianism and saw everything in terms of his own struggle against the British government…

    The Director is clearly a Bakra. I would not doubt if Gandhi had been naive but it is hard for me to believe that he would sympathize with Hitler.

  9. Oh, please don’t even bring up the subject of Gandhi. If Hitler is a nutcase at one extreme, Gandhi is no different on the other end of the spectrum. One wants to kill everyone, the other wants everyone to offer themselves to death. “Offer millions of lives to non-violent protest against Japan”: yeah right, anything he says is the law that the entire country has to follow, however maniacal his Gospel is. Follow his bidding or be marginalized. “Show your other cheek” till you have no cheeks to show, but preach that only to the Hindus on this side of the border… Wax eloquent about non-violence but bid the Indian army to fight wars for the British.

  10. anything he says is the law that the entire country has to follow, however maniacal his Gospel is.

    exaggeration, no? the don’t think he ever believed in rule by fiat or diktat.

  11. @ gm

    “Or maybe the Indians who admire hitler consider themselves “braun” not brown. Seriously, it’s best to avoid Nazis and other racist scumbag losers if you are not white.”

    Not exactly. Even other white groups such as Russians, Poles, Ukranians, Serbs (basically all Slavs) were considered untermensch (sub-human) by the Nazis. As for Indians, the Roma who originated from NW India, were declared life unworthy of life and were along with the Jews victims of genocide, referred to them Porajmos (the Devouring).

  12. Hitler, in my opinion, has given the Indians a false sense of pride by conflating “Aryan” with a “blonde super-race of Nordic types”. Prior to the discovery of the IVC/Harappa and prior to German Nationism, Nietsche, anthropologists/archaeologists like Max Mueller, Indians never thought of themselves as being Germanic.

  13. This post indicates what I was referring to:

    “There are, by common accounting, 30 million Gujars in Pakistan. Gujars claim common quaum status with Checheniyans (the break away former Soviet republic). Georgia was traditionally called Gujaristan, and all Georgians are really Gujars. Some Scholars also argue that Gujars went as far as Germany and many Germans are really Gujars. Germans are known as the Best Race of this Universe.

    http://bbs.keyhole.com/ubb/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=297106&site_id=1#import

  14. From the URL pasted below:

    “It shows Hitler’s love for India and how he indirectly contributed to Indian independence. It also depicts the struggle for survival of the lesser known Indian Legion soldiers who were left in Germany by Subhas Bose to fight for India’s independence and Germany’s prestige,” said Rakesh.

    Rakesh, of course, is the film’s director. If he really believes that crap, I can only wonder how poorly he has researched the subject.

    http://www.hindustantimes.com/Dear-Friend-Hitler-not-based-on-Hitler-s-love-life/H1-Article1-554773.aspx

    What’s ironic is that India is one of Israel’s allies and there’s a fair amount of military and space technology related cooperation between the two nations. India’s also a country that has had virtually no history of anti-semitism yet Hitler now is far from being the reviled figure he justifiably is elsewhere.

  15. I have to say, when I lived in India I was pretty shocked to hear how many people were like “Oh yeah Hitler, he was a strong leader” etc. Delving a little further into the subject (jaise… what’s up with the Hitler love?) I soon discovered that most of the Indian schools do not delve very deeply into what Hitler did during the war… but rather focused on how he was a strong leader and took over a buncha stuff. Oye. Hence controversies like that guy naming his restuarant the “Hitler Cafe” in Mumbai, complete with Nazi swatikas. (note: NAZI swatikas… you know.. red, black, the whole shabang). Then after an uproar my the Jewish minorities and/or other people who actually realized what Hitler did, I believe he changed the name.

  16. 18 · LinZi on June 11, 2010 6:30 AM · Direct link I have to say, when I lived in India I was pretty shocked to hear how many people were like “Oh yeah Hitler, he was a strong leader” etc. Delving a little further into the subject (jaise… what’s up with the Hitler love?) I soon discovered that most of the Indian schools do not delve very deeply into what Hitler did during the war… but rather focused on how he was a strong leader and took over a buncha stuff. Oye. Hence controversies like that guy naming his restuarant the “Hitler Cafe” in Mumbai, complete with Nazi swatikas. (note: NAZI swatikas… you know.. red, black, the whole shabang). Then after an uproar my the Jewish minorities and/or other people who actually realized what Hitler did, I believe he changed the name.

    To be fair, Hitler was an excellent leader. I’m not condoning Hitler or anti-Semitism. I condemn using the strongest language available what the Nazis did. However, Hitler did the following: 1. Rebuild the German economy. 2. Autobahns 3. National awakening of the German consciousness 4. Many engineering achievements were done at this time (i.e. rocket and engine)

    Hitler is one of the most studied orators in modern-times. The leader of the RSS and other hardliner groups in India try to emulate him.

  17. Hitler had great leadership skills. But he was not a great leader, even if you ignore the morality part. If he were, he would not waste the human resources of a significant part of the population. German Jews have gone on to do some impressive things. Hitler, for all his military achievements, ultimately lost the war. So he is a failure as a military leader, overall.

  18. Hey, lots of educated Indians think British rule was good too, so Hitler’s small fry in comparison.

  19. Wax eloquent about non-violence but bid the Indian army to fight wars for the British.

    To be fair to Gandhi, Congress did try refusing support for the WW2 effort until Indian independence was agreed to. But his hand was forced when the then viceroy got support from Jinnah in return for Pakistan. After that, the war had to be supported in an attempt to keep the nation united.

  20. I have to say, when I lived in India I was pretty shocked to hear how many people were like “Oh yeah Hitler, he was a strong leader” etc. Delving a little further into the subject (jaise… what’s up with the Hitler love?) I soon discovered that most of the Indian schools do not delve very deeply into what Hitler did during the war… but rather focused on how he was a strong leader and took over a buncha stuff. Oye. Hence controversies like that guy naming his restuarant the “Hitler Cafe” in Mumbai, complete with Nazi swatikas. (note: NAZI swatikas… you know.. red, black, the whole shabang). Then after an uproar my the Jewish minorities and/or other people who actually realized what Hitler did, I believe he changed the name.

    A lot of hardline nationalists, like Bose himself, believed the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Not unlike how the US and UK were willing to make nice with Stalin right up until he marched into Berlin. Prior to things going south with the USSR the American press referred to him as “Uncle Joe” and depicted him as being a kindly, jolly man.

  21. Boston Mahesh, I am pretty appalled by your ignorant comment. Hitler was a terrible leader. He led his nation to utter destruction and then committed suicide. There is no way you can possibly spin that and you should not even try. It is revisionism at its worst.

  22. Mein Kampf has long been popular in India

    That should be a national embarrassment, not so much for the content, but for the style. It’s SO horribly written! He wrote like a deranged babu!

    Yes, the Bollywood actors portraying Hitler and Braun are so Aryan looking….

    Er, whose definition of “aryan” are you employing? Scythians were a variety of Aryan, as are most Persians and Northern desis. Teutonic farangis are NOT aryan.

    Or maybe the Indians who admire hitler consider themselves “braun” not brown.

    LMAO- that’s ace!

    To be fair, Hitler was an excellent leader.

    Not really. Are you aware of the context in which the 3rd Reich rose to power? Weimar Germany was so bombed-out and depleted that they could only go up. Any group could’ve accomplished that. The only thing Hitler specifically was good at was raising passions and creating targets for these passions; also not all that difficult in an impoverished, war-torn husk of a country. Any tangential achievements were because of his ministers, not himself.

  23. To be fair, Hitler was an excellent leader.

    You’ve got to kidding me. Hitler was a horrible leader. Economic recovery? Based on denying certain Germans their rights and having their property taken away and then using slave labor. Yes, must be nice to build the economy based on slave labor. He led the Germans to such destruction..;; if it wasn’t for the Allies rebuidling of Germany, it would have fallen to a developing country status. Hitler was an abysmal failure.

  24. LinZi (#18):

    Hence controversies like that guy naming his restuarant the “Hitler Cafe” in Mumbai, complete with Nazi swatikas.

    Hitler’s Cross, I believe. Siddhartha wrote about it here and I wrote about it here.

  25. You guys need to learn to distinguish between being likable and being an effective leader. Leadership is about motivating and inspiring people to accomplish a common goal. It has nothing to do with whether that common goal is worthy or ethical. You can’t deny that Hitler was very effective at getting people to follow him. Nobody ever denies how effective a leader Ghengis Khan was though his body count dwarf’s Hitlers and he never actually stopped Mongolia from being a backwater.

  26. Boston Mahesh, I am pretty appalled by your ignorant comment. Hitler was a terrible leader. He led his nation to utter destruction and then committed suicide. There is no way you can possibly spin that and you should not even try. It is revisionism at its worst.

    This.

    India is a poor country. But, to its credit, it has been a fairly functioning democracy since independence. There are some who believe that democracy, with its inherent messiness, coalitions, horse-trading, and often glacial rate of changes that take place therein, has impeded the full measure of Indian progress.

    Consequently, these people often look reverently at totalitarian leaders like Hitler, and totalitarian regimes like China and Stalin’s Russia, and wonder what could have been if India has been ruled by a iron-fisted despots who created national highways, gleaming tall buildings, and yes, killed tens of millions of poor peasants with agrarian “reforms.” It is a perverse form for inferiority and sadism that leads some to highlight the “accomplishments” of these historical monsters and completely downplay their atrocities and crimes.

  27. You guys need to learn to distinguish between being likable and being an effective leader.

    Hitler lost the war. What more proof do you need that he was a lousy leader when it came to the final outcome. The path is irrelevant when the destination sucks.

  28. Hitler’s economic policies were quite fatally flawed. His spending on highways and defense did create demand and stimulate the economy at the time of recession, but it was paid for by printing excess money – deficit spending. Economic performance in Nazi Germany looks good because it was coming in the steps of the disaster that was the Weimar Republic. Mark Mazower’s new book on Nazi occupied Europe has detailed discussions of the poor job German administrators did.

  29. I am puzzled why commercial cinema in Bollywood is required to understand european history in a deep and systematic way. I mean, does Hollywood or commercial european cinema do anything sensible about indian history? Far from it…

    So lets get real here, the day that we have a sensible commercial movie from the west on european colonialism in asia/india/bengal and its consequences, that is the day I will get really worked up about Bollywood making a Hitler movie.

    Re: Hitler/Stalin etc., there is a certain fascination in india with such figures as indian politics and recent history lacks such “strong men” (thank god!). So we do need better history and cultural education in the indian educational system.

  30. Hitler lost the war. What more proof do you need that he was a lousy leader when it came to the final outcome. The path is irrelevant when the destination sucks.

    So Napoleon too was a lousy leader then? Good to know.

  31. So Napoleon too was a lousy leader then? Good to know.

    He was a decent military leader. Do YOU need schooling on the difference between civilian and military leadership?

  32. Yay, Al Beruni!

    Why do you guys expect us Indians to have the same perspective on or knowledge of Western history as Westerners themselves do? As Al Beruni says, the day I see intelligent popular commentary from the West about some unique aspect of my history (as judged by Indian, not Western, historians), then I’ll start holding Indians up to this same elevated standard. It’s only after a very long and sorry history of covering foreign cultures that Hollywood (and I’m not even sure that I can point to Hollywood here, as opposed to independently financed filmmakers) has started to make intelligent movies about aspects of other nation’s histories–in a VERY limited way.

    Also, can we please stop using “Bollywood” to refer to the Indian film industry? There isn’t a studio system in India comparable to Hollywood, so the term is misleading. Not every film that comes out of Bombay starring mainstream movie stars is a “masala” movie (and you wouldn’t make that assumption about all movies from the US, so why India?). Can we give these guys the benefit of the doubt? It might be a decent film.

    There’s no need for all the gratuitous snark.

  33. Can we give these guys the benefit of the doubt? It might be a decent film.

    If this movie were being created in some sort of vacuum, yes, totally we could. But given the seemingly earnest and ahistorical comments from the director, and fatuous ones from the stars like Dupia, it is very hard to. This movie looks like it’s going to be cringe-worthy stinker.

  34. He was a decent military leader. Do YOU need schooling on the difference between civilian and military leadership?

    A “decent” military leader? Are you kidding me? And are you not familiar with Napoleon’s reforms? He was Emperor of France for God’s sake. He pieced France back together after the tumult of the French Revolution. He introduced the Napoleonic Code, which to this day remains the basis of law in countries with civil law systems and demonstrated the viability and vitality of a free nation-state in a Europe full of monarchies. His civilian leadership made him so beloved by his people that when he returned from exile and a royalist army of conscripts was sent to stop him he stood out in front of them, opened his coat, and said “If any man would shoot his emperor, he may do so now!” only to have them chant “Vive L’Empereur!” and march to Paris with him. That, child, is leadership. The fact that he lost a critical battle and suffered a disastrous Russian campaign doesn’t take away from his innate talents.

  35. The role of the Nazi’s in WWII is not exactly some obscure historical point. The comments from the people associated with the film indicate that they are familiar with the facts but for reasons we can only guess have decided to go with this particular interpretation of Hitler and his supposed contributions to Indian independence. Given how popular Mein Kampf is in India I have to wonder about the reading comprehension of these producers, they must have thought “asiatic jugglers” was a term of endearment. After all who doesn’t love a circus.

  36. Calling Napoleon a “decent” military leader is basically saying there’s no such thing as great military leaders.

    If Napoleon was “decent,” then there is no such thing as a great military leader.

  37. louiecypher

    Do these elevated intellectual standards apply only to indian commercial cinema only? Or do you plan to also apply these comments to the makers of “Alien 7″, “Friday the 13th Part 200″, “Lets slash some college girls again” and so on?

    Finally – why do you believe “Mein Kampf” is popular in india, where does that come from? I have never seen it in an indian bookstore myself. I do believe that there are copies sold to european toursists who cannot purchase the book in europe, so there are some copies available in tourist markets in Delhi.

  38. @Al Beruni: There was some article a while ago, I think on BBC.com, about how some random journo. noticed a few MBA students reading it and decided to write a trend-piece. It’s not that reliable an account frankly.

  39. did Napoleon’s defeat end up in France being split in two? Hitler’s defeat led to Germany being split into two with the commie half going into steady decline.

  40. Do these elevated intellectual standards apply only to indian commercial cinema only? Or do you plan to also apply these comments to the makers of “Alien 7″, “Friday the 13th Part 200″, “Lets slash some college girls again” and so on?

    We are talking about a historical figure, anyone who is dealing with history has a burden of care. You are right, I don’t apply the same standards to B movies about fictional characters like Freddy Krueger or “Jason”.

    Finally – why do you believe “Mein Kampf” is popular in india, where does that come from? I have never seen it in an indian bookstore myself. I do believe that there are copies sold to european toursists who cannot purchase the book in europe, so there are some copies available in tourist markets in Delhi.

    Because I see it for sale in every bookstall selling unlicensed knockoffs alongside “How to Win Friends and Influence People” & “Atlas Shrugged” in every major Indian metro I have been to in the last 5 years (Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai, Hyderbad). To be fair I don’t who is actually buying them (i.e. foreign tourists) and what their reaction is to the thoughts inside so for now I retract the assertion that is popular in India. What I do stand by is that it is widely available and the street vendors must be reacting to some market demand. I

  41. did Napoleon’s defeat end up in France being split in two? Hitler’s defeat led to Germany being split into two with the commie half going into steady decline.

    What does that have to do with anything? The fate of France after Napoleon and Germany after Hitler were completely outside the control of the leaders.

  42. Do these elevated intellectual standards apply only to indian commercial cinema only?

    I think you are confusing several genres here to make your point. Those movies you named are all sci-fi/horror and make no pretense to actual historicity.

    A movie about a historical person should get some basic facts right. Take the popular movie from last summer, Inglorious Basterds. It was a completely fictionalized account of an actual historical event, WWII, and it wasn’t billed as anything more that. This Hitler movie is presenting itself as historical account. Shouldn’t it get some of the context right?

  43. Darth Paul, I was being sarcastic about the actors being “aryan”. The nazi definition of aryan, from what I understand, is anyone who is from northern Europe, with fair skin, light colored eyes & hair, tall. Dupia and the other actor might be tall, but they really don’t fit the nazi ideal of an aryan. If they were in Germany during WW2, they would have had to hide or escape from Germany for dear life. I can assure you no neo nazis would welcome those actors into their little society. I guess some Iranians, Arabs and a few others in India would fancy themselves Aryans, but they are only deluding themselves. Maybe if the actors used all the “fair and lovely” tubes of skin cream they might pass for aryan.

    The directors of this atrocious movie should visit the Holocaust Museum in Los Angeles. The directors, actors are going to regret making this movie – it sounds like it’s going to be a huge flop. Not to mention tacky.

  44. “Finally – why do you believe “Mein Kampf” is popular in india, where does that come from? “

    Al Beruni: We’ve blogged on this before I think, but the reference in the post is linked to an article, one of very many, about the popularity of the book. In this case I pointed out it’s used as a management text for MBAs.

  45. Which MBA college in india prescribes Mein Kampf as a text? Name names or just shup up with this kind of drivel.

    I read the link published by Ennis – an obvious piece of fluff – a silly content free article – which gave absolutely no information except this piece

    Dr J Kuruvachira, Professor of Philosophy of Salesian College in Nagaland and who has cited Mein Kampf as a source of inspiration to the Hindu nationalist BJP, said he believed the book’s popularity was due to political reasons. “While it could be the case that management students are buying the book, my feeling is that it has more likely influenced some of the fascist organisations operating in India and nearby,” he said.

    This is the kind of garbage that is the basis of your belief?

    Wow, Ennis, I know you have some real “yuck” issues with indian culture, but you have certainly outdone yourself this time.