100 Years of Adolf Hitler is full of incest, cross dressing, drug use, suicide, and other offensive things that are treated in a completely comical manner. The film begins with a speech by German director Wim Wenders(Wings of Desire, Paris Texas) saying, “We can improve the pictures of the world and with that, this world can be improved.” I think it is safe to say that Schlingensief is also mocking German cinema with the inclusion of Wender’s embarrassingly idealistic and generic speech. Despite my love for many of Wender’s films, he seems like a turd of a man.
100 Years of Adolf Hitler is the first film I have seen of Schlingensief’s and I found it to be a masterpiece, especially for a film with a 16 hour production time. The film is shot in B/W and executed in a theatric manner with spotlights focusing in on actors lurking in the shadows of a desolate bunker. Legendary Gay German Actor Udo Kier (a former lover of Rainer Werner Fassbinder) stars as a fairly emotionless and surprisingly unexpressive Adolf Hitler. The rest of the caricatures of the Nazi bunch seem to be in a constant state of pathological hedonism and greed. They continuously bicker about who will take power and such ideological fantasies as the promise of a “3000 year Reich.” Their insane stream of consciousness arguments make the three stooges look like courteous debaters.
During their stay in the bunker, the outrageous Nazi heavy weights get involved in a variety of comical situations. The most heartwarming of these wacky scenarios involves the singing of Christmas carols around a Christmas tree. It surely wasn’t a silent night in the deep dark abyss that is the Führerbunker. Schlingensief even makes the poisoning of the Goebbels children by their mother a comical yet still disturbing scenario. I assume that like many Germans, Schlingensief is incapable (and rightfully so) of completely articulating all the horrible things that happened during the end of the Third Reich. In that regard, Christoph Schlingensief is the most honest of the German directors in expressing his feelings about the aftermath of Nazi Germany.
National Socialism(Nazism) was probably the only political movement based on aesthetics. Documentary filmmaker Peter Cohen’s film The Architecture of Doom, although somewhat flawed, goes in depth about Nazi ideology and it’s obsession with beauty. As Walter C. Langer’s wartime psychoanalysis of the real AdolfHitler, The Mind of Adolf Hitler states, the Führer had the mind and emotions of an artist (although a failed one). Before Adolf Hitler’s suicide in 100 Years of Adolf Hitler, he makes his final artistic masterpiece by pulling his pants down and covering his bare bottom with sloppy fecal looking paint. The Führer then stamps a piece of paper taped to the wall with his paint covered ass. This final ugly art piece by Hitler sums up his contribution to Germany. The feminine peasant artist from Austria could only lead Germany to destruction as the bankers that funded him probably expected. Adolf Hitler essentially left a stain on Germany that will last 100 years. Hence the title for the film, 100 Years of Adolf Hitler.
Art Fag Wim Wenders
Christoph Schlingensief concludes 100 Years of Adolf Hitler with the same bullshit speech by Wim Wenders featured in the beginning of the film. Following Wenders, a German fellow discusses the German people being both historically romantic and idealistic. The man also states, “The Germans have always shown their greatest skill in times of hardship, hunger, and war.” The man finally goes on to talk about the Germans needing to be less enchanted, less romantic, and less idealistic(as these things have lead to their downfall). Director Wim Wenders has always been an outspoken against Nazism and very idealistic in nature. I think it would be safe to say that Schlingenseif was making a point that despite Wenders anti-Nazi attitude, he is just another artistically idealistic art fag like the Führer himself. The moral of the 100 Years of Adolf Hitler story is to never let an art fag in a position of power.