Jojo Rabbit

Jojo Rabbit

the historical impasse that Jojo Rabbit faces is scope. Taika Waititi adapts a small story about one family—one Hilter Youth, one young Jewish girl hidden inside the walls of a sympathetic mother—that fits idealistically into the long, ugly history of Nazi Germany's terror, violence, and hatred. this history persists today, in ways i cannot comprehend or reconcile—that there are Nazis today, that there are fascists today, that there is still such brutal prejudice, which is not only permitted but enabled by corrupt powers... everything having to do with Nazis is hard to swallow, i suppose, their continuing history most of all.

so i'm not sure what this means, then, that i found this small story to be heartfelt, complicated, critical, and big on earnestness. it's a coming of age story, but not an easy one; aesthetically, it looks like its stakes would only be as high as a Wes Anderson romp. yet there is bite, there is fear, there is loss, which simmers for a while before boiling up and over the top in a cathartic climax that's more bitter than it is sweet.

to me, Jojo Rabbit isn't a reconciliation with the past. it's an inquiry into history, raising more questions than answers. it is wonderfully acted and beautifully framed, but not to the detriment of itself. it feels almost like the antithesis to the "can you separate art from the artist?" debate, incriminating and criticizing itself instead of excusing violent abuses of power for the sake of its existence. more than anything, it hurts, weighing heavy on the heart... even in its moments of lightness, even in its catharsis. there are some wounds that cannot be amended or glossed over, no matter how gentle the salve. but Jojo Rabbit is a noble attempt to preserve and stimulate the process of healing. it testifies that there is no end for some catharsis... there is only onward.

#7/31 on 2019 Ranked—as of November

Tay liked these reviews