Review: My Neighbour Adolf
Cinema & Digital: My Neighbour Adolf (2022)
My Neighbour Adolf is a bit of an odd film, with just the title alone anyone would think it was a maybe…a comedy? Or some sort of Fried Barry type experience. With financing from Israel, Poland and Colombia, and all those languages spoken in it, it’s a film that by the trailer itself, is intriguing.
Set in 1960 (the year Israel captured Adolf Eichmann in Argentina), Malek Polsky (David Hayman) is a Polish Holocaust survivor now living alone in South America (after losing his family in the Holocaust). He’s grumpy, lives frugally (his house is empty of any comforts) and the only thing he truly cares about is his black Rose bush, which he tenderly looks after (his wife grew black roses).
One day his peace is ruined by a German woman – a lawyer, who has come to buy the house next door for her client; a man called ‘Herman Herzog’ (Udo Keir). Herman appears to be ‘in disguise’ with a massive bushy fake beard and never takes off his sunglasses.
After an altercation with Herman’s dog, Malek see’s Herman’s eyes after his glasses are knocked off, and is horrified to be standing in front of … Hitler. Years earlier, Malek met Hitler at the World Chess Championship in Berlin.
He reports it to the Jewish authorities who are searching for war criminals as he swears he’d recognise ‘those dead blue eyes’ anywhere. Of course they don’t believe him, so what follows is a sort of detective story, and blossoming friendship between these 2 oddbods.
Keir is a ‘one of a kind’ actor, he’s been in several ‘nazi’ themed films (2 Iron Sky films, and the very (ahem) individual Mrs. Meitlemeihr where Kier plays Hitler now living in London, and hiding in drag (but let’s not forget him as the Villain in the hardly-seen and brilliant Dragged Across Concrete).
Is Herzog really Adolf Hitler? Well there’s only one way to find out.
I can imagine this being somewhat distasteful to some viewers, however, despite it’s tone being a bit hit and miss, and the central question of – Can you as a Jew who experienced the holocaust first hand – make friends with… Hitler, well this film isn’t as deep as that, I’d even go so far as to say it’s a feel-good buddy movie in part that doesn’t take itself too seriously, but also doesn’t make light or ignore what happened to the Jewish people during the war.
It’s also funny. Malek insisting on seeing Herzog’s balls (as Hitler only had one) being one LOL moment.
Not as cringey as you think it might be, funny, and poignant and well worth a watch.
Signature Entertainment presents My Neighbor Adolf in UK Cinemas 4th November and Digital Platforms 14th November.
Review by Tina from a streaming link kindly supplied by Signature Entertainment.