Jojo Rabbit

Jojo Rabbit ★★★★½

Critics of this film object to it, apparently, at least partially on the grounds that nothing so heinous as Nazism should be the subject of satire and comedy. I disagree. In fact, I can think of few things that deserve such a treatment more than fascism and white supremacy (and I haven't ever seen The Producers).

Much like how, in Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, Tarantino directs the most extreme violence at those people who truly deserve it, Taiki Waititi targets his mockery correctly - mediocre, insecure white people (mostly men) who know no other means to address their own feelings of inadequacy than by banding together in a theatre of violence. Waititi knows that, as dangerous as these people are, they are ultimately silly.

While mocking them, he offers heaps of sympathy, compassion and warm humour to the powerless in the story, including poor JoJo (a wonderful performance by 12 year old Roman Griffin Davis). Yet the actual danger is not misrepresented or made light of here. The violence done by these people is real and, at times, devastating. There is a scene in this film that comes upon us completely by surprise. The devastation it delivers is rendered so artfully and delicately that I and everyone with me watched the next minute in stunned silence.

The film says…don’t underestimate the white supremacist fools among us, for they can do great harm, but also don’t forget to laugh at what they truly represent.

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