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There’s a lot about Jojo Rabbit that makes it an especially bold and challenging concept to pull off. Adapted from the Christine Leunens penned novel Caging Skies, the film puts the spotlight on 10-year-old Jojo Betzler (Roman Griffin Davis) growing up in Germany during the later years of World War II. Told largely from Jojo’s perspective, the film explores his enthusiasm for Nazi Germany including frequent visits from his imaginary friend, Adolf Hitler (Taika Waititi). If that concept once gave you pause, it’s easy to understand why, but the final film wound up being an extremely endearing and poignant piece about kindness, understanding and the dangers of hateful belief systems.The final film proved so successful in fact, it scored six Academy Award nominations including a Best Picture nod and also one for Waititi’s screenplay.
Waititi’s extremely thoughtful approach to the material is apparent throughout the story but during our recent Collider FYC screening and Q&A for Jojo Rabbit, I got the chance to ask him about one particular part of the movie – the very beginning. After getting a pep talk from his imaginary friend, Jojo takes to the streets with fervency, making a mad dash to Hitler Youth training camp to the tune of The Beatles singing “I Want to Hold Your Hand” in German. How does one get the right to a song like that for this purpose? Waititi explained:
Clip - Idea - Paul - McCartney - Ringo
“We had to send the clip and our idea to Paul [McCartney] and to Ringo [Starr] – and to their people, I guess – and...
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