I was looking at the guide on my cable box and Showtime had a movie called Meet the Hitlers. So, I was curious as to what it could be about and saw it was listed as a documentary. That was all it took and I decided that it needed to be watched. I give Meet the Hitlers the Decent Watch rating.
The film examines people with the last name (in one case it’s a first name) Hitler and how the world interacts with them. The relationship between names and identity, racism, tolerance, and immigration are all explored.
The film is directed by Matthew Ogens and interviews Hitler Gutierrez, Gene Hitler, Romano Hitler, and Emily Hittler (not a typo). They all clearly have the name in common. Only Romano Hitler claims to be related to Adolf Hitler and the rest just have the name in common. Ogens asks them about how their name has impacted their lives. The interviews aren’t always eventful, but some of the stories are interesting. As one would imagine, people don’t react well to someone being named Hitler.
Why on earth would you keep the name Hitler?
The bigger aspect of the documentary is a reporter, whose name I can’t recall, who is working on tracking down the last descendants of Hitler that are currently living in America and no longer under that surname. However, they don’t want to be interviewed though and he struggles to get the story he thinks is worth telling.
By far, the craziest story is that of Deborah and Heath Campbell. Their children are taken from them as their son is currently named Adolf Hitler Campbell and they are deemed as unfit parents for a variety of reasons. Heath is a white supremacist and they are fighting the system to try and get their kids.
The documentary is interesting. Romano’s story seems to be proven false by the reporters research, which makes it feel a bit scripted. Yet, the Campbell’s story seems fake, but it’s real as there are news stories to back it up. The lives of people being impacted by their name is definitely compelling. One could wonder if Adolf Hitler’s name was Jim Smith how many more people would have been affected by his actions. Would it have been so impactful than if his name had been more usual. It’s an interesting subject to discuss.