Jojo Rabbit, available on Disney +, is unclassifiable: is it a hilarious satire of the Third Reich, a pamphlet on the Resistance, or even a fable on maternal love? To know everything about Taika Waititi’s film, it’s here!
A literary inspiration
After a theatrical release in 2019, jojo rabbit is to (re)discover on Disney+. If it is made by Taika Waititithe film is actually an adaptation of a novel published in 2004. In Le Ciel en Cage, Christine Leunens describes the life of a German teenager indoctrinated by the Third Reich and who, returning from the front, discovers that his family has hidden a young Jewess in their attic.
Inspired by this idea that a child enlisted in Nazism is confronted with all his horror, the filmmaker imagines the story of a younger boy whose overflowing imagination decks him out as an imaginary friend who is none other than Adolf Hitler.
A role assigned… by default!
Taika Waititi has always offered herself a role in her own films. It is sometimes in the background, as in Thor: Love and Thunder in Korg, other times more present as in Boy Where Vampires in privacy.
By writing the scenario of Jojo Rabbit, the incarnation of the mustachioed dictator is not intended for him at all. The difficulty in finding an actor willing to play this delicate role ends up pushing him to take on the costume himself, demonstrating in passing the extent of his comic talent.
By way of preparation, it is not on the real Führer that the filmmaker bases himself, since he comes straight out of the imagination of a 10-year-old boy. The director then describes the character as “a stupid and goofy version of myself, with a small mustache, and a grotesque German accent.”
Young hero, long search!
After brilliantly directing the touching Boy and Chasing Ricky Bakertwo feature films centered on the lives of young boys, Taika Waititi knows the importance – and the difficulty – of finding a young hero to measure up to.
After watching more than 1000 recordings of auditions from all over the world, it’s on the young Roman Griffin Davis, a ten-year-old Briton that his choice stops. It’s once again a hit, with this boy who turns out to be cut out perfectly for this role, his very first in the cinema.
A different view of the period
If it is fictional, Falkenheim, the city in which the plot focuses, was created in two very real places in the Czech Republic and steeped in history. Žatec and Úštěk, annexed by the Reich but remained intact during the war, serve as a backdrop to history. A choice made with the aim of remaining as close as possible to reality, by taking up the atmosphere of these colorful, flowery and ornamented cities.
In the same way, the film takes advantage of using bright colors for the costumes or the interiors, the atmosphere which emanates from it is therefore very different from the way in which the period is generally shown in the cinema, without falling in the anachronism. A vision full of meaning since the spectator discovers this world through the eyes of an innocent child, lulled by illusions.
An Oscar-winning success
After a success in theaters, the confirmation of the success of Jojo Rabbit leads to 6 nominations for the Oscars 2020 (including those for Best film, Best costumes or Best decorations). He finally won the Best Adapted Screenplay statuette at the ceremony, and was awarded in the same category at the BAFTAs the same year.
Roman Griffin Davis, meanwhile, won the Critics’ Choice Award for Best Newcomer, and a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy for his terrific portrayal of Jojo.
A real revelation, for a poignant film to discover with the family, on Disney+!