Taika Waititi should not play Hitler! 5 things to know about Jojo Rabbit

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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 can be (re)discovered on Disney+ . If it is directed by Taika Waititi , the film is in reality the 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, from back from the front, discovers that his family has hidden a young Jewess in his 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 or Vampires in complete 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, goofy version of myself, with a little mustache, and a grotesque German accent .”

YOUNG HERO, LONG SEARCH!

After having brilliantly directed the touching Boy and In pursuit of Ricky Baker , two feature films centered on the lives of young boys, Taika Waititi knows the importance – and the difficulty – of finding a young actor up to the task.

After viewing more than 1,000 audition recordings from all over the world, her choice fell on the young Roman Griffin Davis , a ten-year-old Briton. 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 fictitious, 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.

Likewise, the film chooses to use bright colors for the costumes or the interiors. The atmosphere that emerges is therefore very different from the way the period is generally shown in the cinema, without falling into 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.