Special Academy Awards: Jojo Rabbit

We continue with our special category for Best Film of the Academy Awards. On this occasion: Jojo Rabbit.

Oscar statuette and frame from the movie 'Jojo Rabbit'.

Oscar statuette and frame from the movie 'Jojo Rabbit'. / Photo: Pxhere / Composition: LatinAmerican Post

LatinAmerican Post | Juliana Rodríguez Pabón

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Leer en español: Especial Premios de la Academia: Jojo Rabbit

This year, two films about war are nominated for Best Film at the Oscar Awards: 1917 and Jojo Rabbit. The first is a drama about World War I and the second is a comedy about the Holocaust. This is the newest Taika Waititi movie, in which we see from the perspective of some German children and a young Jewish woman hiding in the house of one of them the atmosphere in Nazi Germany and the subsequent defeat in the war.

This film also has five other nominations: Best Supporting Actress (Scarlett Johansson), Best Adapted Screenplay (Taika Waititi), Best Costume Design (Mayes C. Rubeo), Best Editing (Tom Eagles) and Best Production Design (Ra Vincent and Nora Sopková).

Also read: Academy Awards' Special: Joker

A new perspective?

Jojo is a radical Nazi boy who attends the Nazi youth camps. He wants to fight for the Füher and his imaginary friend is Adolf Hitler, who is played by Taika Waititi, director of the film. His mother, played by Scarlett Johansson, is an independent woman, alone, funny and compassionate. One day, Jojo realizes that his mother hides a young Jew in her late sister's room. Jojo then enters into internal conflict over whether he should hand over the girl. Start spending time with her to learn more about the Jews, whom she hates. Then the obvious happens: he falls in love and realizes that the Jews are not monsters and faces his imaginary Hitler, takes him out of his life.

Many have said that this is a new perspective since it is that of children. However, in its attempt to make a parody of fascism, the film ends up infantilizing that phenomenon and moving it away from the present, nothing is further from reality. The Nazis are shown as crazy fools and the fanaticism of the child as blind and a product of his imagination (when it is known, nothing imagined the genocide that took place during World War II). The phenomenon of fascism is trivialized trying to look like a satire but what results is a historical simplification.

A nazi hipster

The film also has a hipster aesthetic very similar to that of other films of recent years, especially those of director Wes Anderson. Here the difference is that this aesthetic is used to soften or infantilize the Nazi aesthetic. Thus, a nostalgic visual proposal, such as this hipster, which imitates fashion trends of the last century, is used by Waititi irresponsibly on a phenomenon where it is almost impossible to feel nostalgic.

There is no new proposal or political criticism in Jojo Rabbit, only touching conversations between the protagonist boy and his mother, the young woman and his campmate with UK rock songs (again, nostalgia) sung in German. We don't even see Jojo falling in love with the Jewish girl, the only revelation comes to him that the Jews "are not so bad." Finally, what is new in discovering that you can love a Jew?