What if Moonrise Kingdom but make it Hitler Youth? That seems to be about the gist of the latest from Kiwi funnyman Taika Waititi, he of Eagle vs Shark, What We Do in the Shadows, Hunt for the Wilderpeople and Thor: Ragnarok fame.
Judging by this first-look trailer – which screams ‘don’t worry folks, it’s just satire!’ – the writer/director has returned to his wacky comic roots for Jojo Rabbit, which follows a retiring German boy (played by newcomer Roman Griffin Davis) in the Reich’s young recruitment scheme who discovers that his mother (Scarlett Johansson) is hiding a Jewish girl in their home.
Waititi himself dons the red armband and pencil moustache, and it looks as though his performance dips pretty hard into parody – but it’s hard to say at this point whether he’s managed the tricky balancing act of making a comedy about Adolf Hitler that not in any way glib or insensitive. If anything, it looks a bit too cutesy to cause any serious offence.
The film is set to premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September, so we’ll know soon enough.
Published 24 Jul 2019
By Anton Bitel
Taika Waititi lays on the charm in this storybook adventure yarn about a young Maori orphan.
With global nationalism on the rise, now seems like the time to revisit Claude Lanzmann’s masterpiece, Shoah.