Cinema Scope

Rabbit, Run

Explaining the rationale behind Jojo Rabbit in a recent essay for , Taika Waititi spoke of how he was “getting tired of seeing World War II through the lens of the soldier” and “began to wonder what the experience was like for ordinary people,” particularly, “how war affects children.” He argues that films such as , which chronicles how a Hitler Youth tamps down his Nazi fervour through his developing relationship with a young Jewish woman whom his mother is hiding in their attic, resonate in the present moment because they serve as “dialogues around the way we treat ourselves and raise our children.” Whatever one thinks about film’s capacity to start a conversation on contemporary child-rearing, or about itself (my thoughts are detailed in 81), there’s something verging on the ahistorical in Waititi’s wondering. Leaving unmentioned a corpus that includes René Clément’s (1952), Andrei Tarkovsky’s (1962), Peter Brook’s (1963), and Louis Malle’s (1987), among many others, he treats the very notion of a film offering a child’s perspective on war as something of an innovation.

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