In 1918, 15 years before ascending to the rank of Chancellor of Germany, Adolph Hitler was just another struggling painter scouring the streets of Munich with a sketchpad under his skinny, unwashed arm.
Hitler's penciled drawings of cocker spaniels and landscapes didn't suit the new era of anarchic Dadaism, any more than his conservative political views, vegetarianism and teetotaling matched the moral decadence of Weimar Germany. In MAX, writer/director Menno Meyjes portrays this little-seen side of Hitler through the eyes of fictitious gallery owner Max Rothman (John Cusack). A leftist, avant-garde performance artist, Max attempts to divert Hitler's mania from politics to art, only to become the Nazi Party's symbol of cultural corruption. As Hitler, Noah Taylor captures the dismal passion of an outcast on the path of channeling his rejection into an ultimate revenge.
MAX is a thoughtful, chilling film that begs both debate and controversy.