Out documentarians tackle controversial "gay Hitler" book

HBO and openly gay filmmakers Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato (Party Monster, The Eyes of Tammy Faye) are developing a documentary based on Lothar Machtan's controversial biography The Hidden Hitler, which asserts that Der Fuhrer was gay, reports The Hollywood Reporter. The film, directed by Bailey and Barbato and produced by Gabriel Rotello, is scheduled to air in 2004 on either HBO or Cinemax. "The thrust of the documentary looks at the body of evidence that in his early life, Hitler was, in all possibility, gay," said Bailey. A shorter, 49-minute version of the documentary aired in the United Kingdom in November under the title Is Hitler Gay? while the HBO version would run 75 minutes, possibly under the name The Pink Führer. The film, which took 10 months to make, includes interviews with Machtan and other historians and visits to cities where Hitler lived during his youth.

"We would welcome a rigorous and fair examination of the book from all different sides, which it didn't get from the mainstream media when it first came out," said Cathy Renna, news media director of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, referring to exploitive "Gay Hitler" stories in the media following the publication of Machtan's book. Bailey, meanwhile, defends his company's exploration into Hitler's sexuality. "It's an absolutely uncomfortable subject, but you're in graver danger if you refuse to explore an idea in fear that someone might misinterpret it," he said.

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