Director Taika Waititi (left) played Hitler, the imaginary friend of Jojo, played by Griffin Davis (right). courtesy Fox Searchlight Pictures

Satirical film “Jojo Rabbit” proves deeply moving

In a humorous and innovative account of World War II propaganda, the film critiques nationalism.

“Jojo Rabbit” had its Oklahoma premiere at Circle Cinema this past Tuesday. The film originally had a limited release starting on Oct. 18 and was later released nationally on Nov. 8.

“Jojo Rabbit” is satirical film about World War II, also billed as an “Anti-hate satire.” It follows the story of a young boy, Jojo, whose imaginary friend is Hitler. Jojo’s views are suddenly turned upside down when he finds out that his mother his hiding a young Jewish girl in their attic, forcing him to confront his blind nationalism.

The film was directed by Taika Waititi, who has also directed “Thor: Ragnarok,” “What We Do in the Shadows” and “Hunt for the Wilderpeople.” In “Jojo Rabbit,” Waititi skillfully managed to balance comedy and drama, while still maintaining the heart of the film.

“Jojo Rabbit” features the talents of Roman Griffin Davis (Jojo Betzler), Thomasin McKenzie (Elsa Korr), Taika Waititi (Adolf Hitler), Sam Rockwell (Captain Klenzendorf), Rebel Wilson (Fraulein Rahm), Scarlett Johansson (Rosie Betzler) and Stephen Merchant (Captain Deertz).

Essentially, the film shows World War II from the eyes of a boy who is fed propaganda and believes everything without a doubt. There is a quote from the trailer where Elsa, the young Jewish woman, tells Jojo, “You’re not a Nazi, Jojo. You’re a ten-year old kid who likes dressing up in a funny uniform and wants to be a part of a club.”

“Jojo Rabbit” is the film that 2019 needs. This film is about friendship, tolerance and love. On the outside, it can look like a silly movie, but on the inside it is filled with an astounding amount of heart. The story starts out with a very light-comedic tone to it, but as it progresses, it becomes more and more serious.
The Oklahoma premiere is an experience that I will likely not forget. I have never heard so many people laugh in unison before. Later, the audience collectively let out an audible gasp. Everyone applauded during one scene; not just applauded, but full-on cheered for the character. This film has a very dynamic emotional range; it will make you feel so many emotions simultaneously.

This will definitely sound cliche, but “Jojo Rabbit” is a film that can unify people, no matter what their differences are. The premiere had such a vast range of people and personalities; there were college students, older generations, war movie lovers, children, fans of comedy, etc.

“Jojo Rabbit” was able to bring together everyone in the theater despite the differences we had. For two hours, we laughed together, we cried together as we experienced this beautiful film together. My biggest take away from the film is that hate is never the answer and that we should all learn to love more.

“Jojo Rabbit” is already on track to be nominated for “Best Picture” at the Academy Awards. At the Toronto Film Festival, it took home the coveted People’s Choice Award. Every People’s Choice Award winner since 2011 has received a “Best Picture” nominee.
Please, do yourself a favor and see this beautiful film. As of right now, only Circle Cinema, AMC Southroads and Cinemark Tulsa are playing the film. The last showtime looks to be on Thursday, Nov. 14.

Post Author: Madison Walters