NEW YORK, NY (March 2, 2021) – IFC Films announced today that they are acquiring North American rights to Petra Epperlein and Michael Tucker’s documentary THE MEANING OF HILTER, a thought-provoking exploration of the lasting cultural fascination with the Nazi dictator and its resonance on present day politics. IFC Films will release the film later this year.
Directed by Petra Epperlein and Michael Tucker and filmed over the course of four years, the documentary takes its framework from Sebastian Haffner’s 1978 best selling book of the same title, dismantling the aura of legend surrounding Hitler’s life through interviews with subjects including Martin Amis, Saul Friedländer, Sir Richard Evans, Yehuda Bauer, and famed Nazi hunters Beate and Serge Klarsfeld. This film 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.
THE MEANING OF HILTER is a provocative interrogation of our culture’s fascination with Hitler and Nazism set against the backdrop of the current rise of white supremacy, the normalization of antisemitism, and the weaponization of history itself. Shot in nine countries, the film traces Hitler’s movements, his rise to power, and the scenes of his crimes through the lens of key locations in his life as historians, writers, and scholars weigh in on the lasting impact of his virulent ideology. As fears of authoritarianism and fascism now abound, the film explores the myths and misconceptions of our understanding of the past, and the difficult process of coming to terms with it at a time in our history when it seems more urgent than ever.
The film was praised by critics for its political resonance following a world premiere bow at DOC NYC, with Sheri Linden of the Hollywood Reporter calling it “an urgent warning about the blind spots that have led us to the present moment.” In Indiewire, Eric Kohn wrote that the film was “a bracing blend of historical inquiry and cinematic soul-searching,” adding, “the movie isn’t just another cautionary tale; it’s a jagged intellectual wakeup call that cuts deep, and America can’t hear it enough.”
Arianna Bocco, President of IFC Films, said, “Petra and Michael’s documentaries stand out for their political urgency and nuanced yet provocative approach, and their latest work in THE MEANING OF HILTER is no exception. 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.”
“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 Petra Epperlein, the film’s co-director and producer. “If there is any take-away from the recent past, it’s that history matters.”
The deal for the film was negotiated by IFC Films President Arianna Bocco, with Cinetic representing the filmmakers. Autlook Filmsales is handling international rights to the film.
ABOUT IFC FILMS
Established in 2000 and based in New York City, IFC Films is a leading U.S. distributor of independent film. Its unique distribution model makes independent films available to a national audience by releasing them in theaters as well as on cable’s Video On Demand (VOD) and digital platforms.
Upcoming releases include the critically-acclaimed MOFFIE directed by Oliver Hermanus and Christian Petzold’s UNDINE. Current releases include Sam Pollard’s acclaimed documentary MLK/FBI and Chad Hartigan’s LITTLE FISH. Some of the company’s successes over the years have included BOYHOOD, THE DEATH OF STALIN, FRANCES HA, MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING, Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN, THE BABADOOK, TOUCHING THE VOID, 4 MONTHS, 3 WEEKS AND 2 DAYS, CHE, SUMMER HOURS, ANTICHRIST, IN THE LOOP, JOAN RIVERS: A PIECE OF WORK, TINY FURNITURE, and CARLOS. IFC Films has worked with established and breakout filmmakers, including Steven Soderbergh, Gus Van Sant, Spike Lee, Richard Linklater, Miranda July, Lars Von Trier, Gaspar Noé, Todd Solondz, Cristian Mungiu, Susanne Bier, Olivier Assayas, Jim McKay, Larry Fessenden, Paul Dano, Gregg Araki, Jacques Rivette, Claude Chabrol, Abdellatif Kechiche, Kore-eda Hirokazu, Abbas Kiarostami, Alfonso Cuaron, Noah Baumbach, Lena Dunham, Ethan Hawke and many more. IFC Films is a sister label to IFC Midnight, and is owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc.
ABOUT PLAY/ACTION PICTURES
Play/Action Pictures is a documentary feature production company founded by Philadelphia Eagles owner and two-time Academy Award®-winning Executive Producer Jeffrey Lurie (Inside Job, Inocente) in 2019 and headed by acclaimed producer Marie Therese Guirgis. Play/Action Pictures focuses on director-driven films that engage with the most important questions and challenges of our time. Recent and upcoming Play/Action Pictures releases include Totally Under Control by Alex Gibney, Ophelia Harutyunyan and Suzanne Hillinger, MLK/FBI by Sam Pollard, Summer Of Soul by Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson and The Meaning Of Hitler by Petra Epperlein and Mike Tucker.