Jojo Rabbit

Jojo Rabbit ★★★★

To be a 10-year-old boy in 1945 Germany and not conform to the dominant ideology, one has to be very brave. Jojo wants so much to belong to the world around him that he becomes a small supporter of Nazism. He joins the Hitler Youth, but is bullied by his companions for being too sensitive to kill a rabbit with his bare hands. The child then finds comfort in an imaginary and bizarre version of Adolf Hitler, who helps him in difficult moments and educates him to anti-Semitism. However, his ideals are challenged when he discovers that his mother is hiding a Jewish refugee named Elsa in their home.

Director Taika Waititi takes up David Bowie's description of Hitler as the first rock star in history and opens the film by linking the Führer with the Beatles. With the German version of I Want to Hold Your Hand playing in the background, the archival footage shows youthful fanaticism for the leader of the Third Reich: it's exactly like Beatlemania, only with the swastikas and Nazi doctrine. Waititi portrays Hitler not as a political or historical phenomenon but as a cultural icon. From here Jojo Rabbit starts, to then configure itself as a beautiful coming of age story, that manages to skillfully mix drama, comedy and satire. Through his relationship with Elsa, Jojo discovers love, death and the importance of being oneself and understands that true heroism does not lie in killing a rabbit or in hating "the other", but in living life according to an ideal of beauty and acceptance of differences. A heroism, as Bowie reminds us again in a moving and cathartic ending, that is capable of breaking down every wall of division and intolerance, and giving us the freedom to dance happily in the street, hoping for a better world.

Qui la recensione in italiano.

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