“It’s definitely not a good time to be a Nazi,” says a young German boy at the end of the new trailer for Taika Waititi’s Jojo Rabbit. While it’s ironic how inaccurate such a sentiment feels today, in the World War II setting of the film, it’s actually rather poignant.
Jojo Rabbit follows 10-year-old Jojo Betzler (Roman Griffin Davis) as he begins to question his blind nationalism. Enrolled in a camp for budding young Nazis, he learns the art of loathing Jews and “blowing shtuff up,” as instructor Sam Rockwell puts it. Though he seems to struggle with the violence and hate of it all, he has his trusty imaginary friend, Adolph Hitler (played with satiric glee by Waititi himself), to help push him along. That is, until he meets the young Jewish girl (Thomasin McKenzie) his mother (Scarlett Johansson) has hidden away in the attic. Confronted with the fact that the girl “doesn’t seem like a bad person,” Jojo comes of age in an era defined by the perception of an enemy.
The teaser trailer released back in July painted Jojo Rabbit as a wickedly fun satire, but this new full-length preview adds a level of pathos and craft that could start the Academy voters a-buzzing. Take a look at the trailer, which is powerfully soundtracked by a German version of David Bowie’s “Heroes”, below.
Jojo Rabbit will premiere at a special presentation during the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival, kicking off September 5th. Audiences everywhere will get their chance to catch it in theaters beginning October 18th. The cast also includes Rebel Wilson, Alfie Allen, and Stephen Merchant.