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UK Jewish Film Festival 2019 Closing Gala - "Jojo Rabbit"

by Emilia Ippolito

The 23rd UK Jewish Film Festival 2019 closed last night in London at Picture House, with the screening of Taika Waititi’s JoJo Rabbit (2019), preceded by a reception and the Award Ceremony presented by the pleasantly experienced BBC broadcaster Jonathan Solomons

The Dorfman Best Film this year was awarded to Dolce Fine Giornata (Jacek Borcuch); the Dorfman Best Debut Festure to Leona (Isaac Cherem) and Dorfman Best Documentary Award to Advocate (Philippe Bellaiche and Rachel Leah Jones).

Chief Executive Michael Etherton, Chairman Jonathan Lewis and Director of Program Nir Cohen confirmed expertise and flexibility in offering a heterogeneous, eclectic quality program and very good facilities in 22 UK cities

In Waikiki’s story we follow JoJo (Roman Griffin Davis) a convinced even though very clumsy Hitler Youth member, who is ‘guided’ in his nationalistic actions by an imaginary friend and hilarious parody of Hitler : Jewish-Maori Waikiki himself in a larger than life performance.

JoJo is faced by a serious dilemma when he finds out that his partisan and life-loving single mother - an utterly chic and extravagant Scarlett Johansson - hides a Jewish girl (promising Thomasin MacKenzie) in the attic...

Of course there will be consequences for the brave partisan, and anything else would be a spoiler, so I will leave the pleasure of discovery to readers and viewers.

I can only warmly recommend this bitter comedy on coming of age in Nazi Germany: in spite of an excellent script and use of irony, it still shows what it meant to grow up in Germany at that moment in history; it also shows that, after all, humanity and a sense of the other are the only ways forward

The provocative feature, awarded with the Toronto Film Festival People’s Choice 2019, promises to achieve a few Oscar nominations and will be on general release in the UK on January 1st

Enjoy and try not to be moved!
 

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About Emilia Ippolito

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