During World War II, lonely German boy Jojo ‘Rabbit’ Betzler (Roman Griffin Davis) has his worldview turned upside down when he discovers that his single mother, Rosie (Scarlett Johansson), is hiding a young Jewish girl (Thomasin McKenzie) in their attic. Aided only by his imaginary friend, in the form of an idiotic version of Adolf Hitler (Taika Waititi), Jojo must confront his ideology.
Not many movies turn to the Holocaust, Hitler and WWII for comedic source material. Go figure. In this sense Jojo Rabbit is an ambitious and brave film that manages to dodge the minefield that black comedy can often be. Humour is supposed to push boundaries, and this film does that in spades.
Director, Taika Waititi pulls this off by telling the story from the perspective of a young boy, oblivious to his surroundings, which is a play on the delusion of the Nazis.
Hitler is played as a slapstick, goof-of-a-man, which is a dangerous line to follow, yet it is a unique way to tell a terrible story from a new perspective. And for this film to work we have to like this boy – we have to believe that at his core he is a good person, and that his obscure and blinded worldview stems from the evil around him.
Critics have been throwing up such bold statements as ‘this is exactly the movie we have needed for a long time,’ and ‘Waititi’s faith in the notion that a child will lead us out of ignorance may be naïve. It’s also deeply affecting’.
A bold film, and overall a great cinematic experience. Worth a watch.
Federal Films: Parasite
Federal Hall | Saturday 8 February | 6.30pm dinner, 8pm film
This Saturday, Federal Films will be screening Parasite. The winner of more than 150 awards, including the Cannes Palm d’Or and Best Film at the Sydney Film Festival, and with six Oscar nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director for Bong Joon Ho, Parasite Is the standout film in what was a great year for cinema. Parasite is a film that defies genre… a comedy, tragedy, thriller and satire rolled into one glorious vision. The film starts at 8pm. The caterers this month are Federal Community Centre. Served from 6.30pm, the Korean-inspired menu will include vegetarian options. There will also be a selection of delicious home-made cakes, plus teas and coffee at intermission.
For more information – call 6684 9313, or email [email protected] or go online to www.federalfilmsociety.com and www.facebook.com/federalfilmsociety. Federal Films – building community through film and food.