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30th September 2020 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm£7.05
Dir. Taika Waititi,
Starring Taika Waititi, Roman Griffin Davis, Scarlett Johansson, Rebel Wilson ; 2019, 123 mins, English
Since the days of Chaplin’s The Great Dictator, film-makers have adopted naive or comedic perspectives to pierce and deflate the hideous bubble of Nazi ideology. Now, in this Golden Globe-nominated adaptation of Christine Leunens’s book Caging Skies, New Zealand writer-director-performer Taika Waititi plays a camp, slapstick version of Hitler, who exists in the mind of a German boy, Jojo. Roman Griffin Davis plays the 10-year-old growing up under the Third Reich, whose jolly dreams of becoming an Aryan war hero are thwarted by his innate sensitivity and squeamishness. Beneath the fanaticism, Jojo is a frightened boy whose sister has died and whose father has disappeared in battle. But his mother, Rosie (Scarlett Johansson), has a secret: she’s a covert anti-fascist who is hiding a Jewish girl, Elsa (Thomasin McKenzie), in the attic. When Jojo stumbles upon Elsa, he is initially horrified, believing her to be a monster. But gradually the pair strike up a love-hate relationship that infuriates imaginary Adolf and causes Jojo to start to rethink his allegiances. Through Elsa, Waititi articulates some fundamental and insidious tenets of antisemitism that are being touted even now. She is the real conduit for empathy in the audience, regardless of whether you’re Jewish or not
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