Tulane alum explores the effects of a name in “Meet the Hitlers”

Tyler Mead, Associate Arcade Editor

The difference between Hitler, and a Hitler has never been explored in the way director Matthew Ogens does in his new documentary film, “Meet the Hitlers.”

Ogens, a Tulane University alum, turned his camera towards those with one of the most infamous names in history: Hitler. The name sparks an almost instant image of hatred, war, genocide, and goofy facial hair. For some, it means family.

“We are all given names,” Ogens said. “Most of us don’t have unusual names so we don’t spend a lot of time thinking about it. Our parents named us. Our last names have been passed down to us. I was curious if people’s names have any relation to their identity.”

The film explores the lives of several people who share the name Hitler. Stories range from a teenage girl whose family name has been Hitler for years, to a neo-Nazi who chose to name his son after the infamous Adolf Hitler. Each give an in depth look into how much a name can affect people’s lives. Some are tortured by the circumstance, while others revel in it.

“Each character in Meet the Hitlers is unique and brings a different perspective and angle to the name Hitler,” Ogens said, “I think in the end there is a theme of judging a person by his or her name or their actions; aka judging a book by its cover as opposed to what’s inside.”

The film premiered at the New Orleans Film Festival earlier this month, and is available for pre-order, along with more information about the film, at the film’s website.