Do Hitlers Hunt Rabbits? “Jojo Rabbit” and Its Look to the Past

Online conversation about the contradictory film by Taika Waititi. What is it: a comedy, vaudeville, a farce, or a completely new language for Holocaust commemoration?



head of the Research Division of the Odesa Fine Arts Museum


curator of the Past / Future / Art project

This story began a year ago, when the participants of the discussion, started a heated debate about the Instagram project “Eva stories”, where they expressed completely different points of view to the same problem. This debate became public, when the curators of the Past / Future / Art project organized a public discussion “Digital as Public” (“Віртуальне як публічне” ukr.) as part of the Kharkiv Biennale of Young Art. After the discussion the co-curator of the Biennale Borys Filonenko concluded that this conversation should have three parts. This is what happened. The second time discussants met in Odesa in a discussion Commemorative Practices in the Digital World, once again they parted in disagreement, yet touched upon the film “Jojo Rabbit”. Thus, this film became the basis of the online event, in which the same participants meet for the third time.

The controversial film by Taika Waititi is at the spotlight of this event. It’s advertised as a film about a buy and his imaginary friend Hitler, a very funny Hitler. If we dig deeper, it turns out to be a film about a boy, who thinks he’s a Nazi, until someone else tells him: ‘you are no Nazi’. What is it? A comedy, vaudeville or a farce? Or is it a completely new form of language in Holocaust commemoration, comparable with the graphic novel “Maus” by A. Spiegelman. We’ll share our thoughts in the online discussion. It’s not going to be a lecture, but a conversation about dramatically different interpretations of the film.

Online stream of the discussion took place on May 20, 2020, on the Facebook page of the Past / Future / Art project.

You can read the summary of the discussion in the text «”Jojo Rabbit”: direct forms of expression don`t work any more».


Title photo is a still from “Jojo Rabbit”, directed by Taika Waititi, 2019