‘JoJo Rabbit’ is a historical and satirical comedy about a German city during World War II. The movie came out at the end of 2019 and was directed by Taika Waititi, who is half Jewish. The movie is about a 10 year old kid names Johannes who idolizes Hitler and the Nazi way of life. He dreams of being a Nazi soldier and trains in a Hitler Youth summer camp. Throughout the movie, he imagines he is talking to Hitler (played by Waititi) who could also be seen as his ‘imaginary friend’. Through JoJo, Hitler plays his companion, adviser, and friend. SPOILER ALERT- One day, JoJo finds a Jewish girl in his attic that his mom has been hiding for some time. JoJo is conflicted between his preconceived hate for Jewish people and his naturally kind heart and must make a decision to either follow Hitler’s orders or his own instincts.
Waititi employs satirical comedy all throughout the movie using overstatements and irony. The most prominent use is overstatement. He exaggerates the perception of Hitler greatly by showing him as an idolized celebrity to young German kids. For example, to start the movie, footage of Nazi rallies and Germans going crazy for Hitler is shown with the song ‘I Want to Hold Your Hand’ playing over it. This compares Hitler to the Beatles showing how each of their fanbases treated them both similarly. Later in the movie, during a scene in which people are greeting others, “Heil Hitler” is said 31 times in one minute to emphasize the ridiculousness of the Nazi way of life. To employ irony, Waititi plays Hitler and portrays him as a sidekick who is weak and powerless, opposite of how he is viewed by the other characters in the film. When Waititi was asked about why he chose to play the role of Adolf Hitler, he said “What better fuck you to the guy?” The movie does more than just make fun of Hitler, Nazi’s, and Hitler worshipers. It shows viewers how ridiculous people in Germany were for supporting and idolizing such a terrible person and adopting the terrible beliefs he preached. Satirical work that criticizes the Nazi’s like ‘JoJo Rabbit’ will continue to be made and hopefully prevent another person like Hitler from coming into power again.