Lampooning fascism and Nazi ideology in film can be a tightrope walk for any Director. With the sensitivities of history still raw and full of emotion for many viewers. Hence creating a need to balance humour with the true horror of war and hate. And with Jojo Rabbit, Director Taika Waititi manages to walk this tricky tightrope by layering the films humour with cutting social commentary. Taking square aim at the indoctrination of youth, while mixing in a coming of age tale. Ultimately creating a biting and humorous dissection of 1930s and 40s fascism.
It would be all too easy to simply label Jojo Rabbit as a black comedy. However, much like The Death of Stalin this is a film that delves much deeper than its comedic roots. Coupling its masterful humour with a narrative that embodies themes of subverted innocence and parental protection. While equally discussing the masks people wear as protection during times of oppression.
Taking place during the dying days of the Third Reich. Jojo (Roman Griffin Davies) is a boy fully committed to the Nazi ideologies surrounding him. His passion for his country tied to the propaganda of fascism. While his understanding of war and hate are blinded by innocent childhood logic and acceptance.
In his palpable excitement for all things Third Reich he goes along to the local Hitler Youth summer camp. Where he is determined to show the other boys his credentials and bravery in fighting for Germany. With the camps chaotic and mindless activities managed by the frustrated and medically retired Captain Klenzendorf (Sam Rockwell). And his band of extremist associates Fräulein Rahm (Rebel Wilson) and Finkel (Alfie Allen). All three toeing the party line, while hiding their own insecurities under a blanket of ideological protection.
Director: Taika Waititi