HEIL

— by Jeff Schultz

A knockabout farce about neo-Nazis in Brandenburg with so much giddy energy, you barely notice the social commentary for the comedy. Director Dietrich Brüggemann rides the Zeitgeist’s slipstream like a waterskiing Olympian, tapping into Germany’s lurch to the right not by making his thugs fearsome, but instead just plain ridiculous. That old standby, the hard knock to the head, sets the plot in motion, with more knocks and reversals down the road. Along the way we meet up with the modern, “friendlier” face of National Socialism, throwback Brownshirts, feckless intellectuals blathering on tv, and a plan to re-invade Poland, which leads most satisfyingly to a circular firing squad climax. It’s not always easy to follow (some of the subtitles are difficult to read), but the gist is clear, and Brüggemann’s punk sensibility complements the action.

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